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National Museum of Australia

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4

Photograph of Carmelo Mirabelli and male companion on horse-drawn cart

2008.0052.0054

Photograph of Carmelo Mirabelli and male companion on horse-drawn cart

Object information

Physical description

A black and white photograph featuring Carmelo Mirabelli and a male companion standing on a horse drawn cart. The horse appears in the right foreground and the box laden cart with the figures in the middleground. The tree lined dirt road on which the cart is standing stretches behind it into the distance. A corrugated iron and wooden beam building is visible in the right middleground. '[6 - 2?]' is printed on the back of the photograph.

Statement of significance

The Carmelo Mirabelli collection no. 2 consists of 61 items relating to Mr Mirabelli's six years of itinerant work, and his time working on Melbourne's wharves, after migrating from Sicily to Australia in 1951. He travelled between Ingham, Qld; Shepparton and Mildura, Vic. following the seasonal harvests of sugar cane in Queensland and stone fruit and grapes in Victoria in order to find a 'home' in Australia. The collection includes 48 photographs documenting his time cane-cutting, fruit-picking, his colleagues and his travels. The other items consist of his razor, two enamel plates, camera flash, Super 8 Movie camera, bicycle trouser clips and his crane driving certificate.

The Mirabelli collection no. 2 reflects aspects of post-WWII Italian migration. It is visually representative of itinerant or seasonal workers lives in the post war period and how these flows of people connected Queensland to Victoria. The collection adds to the understanding of post war agricultural history, particularly that of fruit picking and cane cutting. The Mirabelli collection no. 2 also illustrates how phases of mobility and consolidation were part of the Italian male migrant experience in the post war era.

Object information

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