The Welcome Wall is a 100 metre long, 2.8 metre high monument to immigrants who came from countries all over the world and made Australia their home. The wall is inscribed in bronze with the individual names of almost 30,000 migrants, dating back as far as the 1700s, and through to the present day. This January marks the 20th anniversary since the first inscription was made.
The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) plans to upgrade the monument and its surrounds, improving access, upgrading facilities, and increasing capacity so that more names can be added. They are currently rebuilding the online database that contains the
stories of each person named on the wall: where they came from, when they arrived, why they came, how they settled in.
Walking the length of the wall is a moving and surreal experience. Literally thousands of names are engraved in columns that sit side by side; each individual person with their own history and story that might differ by many years and miles from the next.
In a world where walls are being built to divide and discourage “outsiders”, it’s heartening to have a wall that unites, celebrates and welcomes people to our shores.