Living From A Suitcase

Who’s involved

Migration Heritage Centre
Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association NSW
NSW Department for Women
Migrant women with Portuguese, Vietnamese, Turkish, South American and Arabic backgrounds, and from the former Yugoslavia

When and where

Project location: Western Sydney, Marrickville, Maitland and Wagga Wagga (NSW)
Project status: Completed project
Date of completion: March 2000

Project description

‘Living from a Suitcase’ collected and documented a range of artworks and material culture made by immigrant and refugee women. Art workshops and discussion groups were held to produce material reflecting a diversity of cultural perspectives, traditions, and experiences in Australia. The collection includes art objects, tapestries, paintings, masks, ceramics, and photography. A video of women’s gardens was produced, together with a booklet of writing and poetry.

What did the project achieve?

The project stimulated and produced work for an exhibition that toured to regional NSW. The collection of artworks represents an important migration heritage resource.

Further workshops have extended the original project. Immigrant Women’s Speakout held a workshop in western Sydney in partnership with Holroyd Council. Three workshops were held in Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill and Griffith as part of the Department for Women’s Women on Wheels visit to regional NSW. The workshops contributed to women’s migration and cultural heritage in each of the centres, and the work will in turn become part of the exhibition collection.

Project contact

Annie Pfingst – Senior Project Officer
NSW Department for Women

Phone 02 9287 1906
Fax 02 9287 1823


Level 4
181 Stockland House