Migration Memories
Lightning Ridge perspectives

 

Lovelyn Miglietta: A first generation perspective


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From the Philippines to Lightning Ridge 1994

Lovelyn’s migration story was incredibly full – full of characters and dramas. It took some time to choose a storyline. There was also the issue of how to treat her migration to Australia as the spouse of an Australian resident. Lovelyn was keenly aware of negative publicity about both ‘Filipino brides’ and their husbands.

lovelyn   Lovelyn's display
View of Lovelyn’s story on display at National Museum of Australia. Photograph: Lannon Harley, 2007.
Lovelyn Miglietta. Photograph: Jenni Brammall, 2006.    

 

Mapping the personal, the local and historical


photo and map of lovelyn's story
Detail from Lovelyn Miglietta, panel one, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh. Click to enlarge.  

 

The map used in the exhibition to show the wider context of Lovelyn’s migration from the Philippines indicated some of the main Filipino migration destinations. Millions of Filipinos live and work in around 190 different countries across the world.

 

 


postal box
  Detail from Lovelyn Miglietta, panel one, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.

 

 


 

 

 

Australia is not a major destination but Filipinos have arrived in significant numbers since the 1970s when the Government replaced the system of excluding people on the basis of race with eligibility criteria that could be applied to everyone. They come as workers and family members.

 

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Detail from Lovelyn Miglietta, panel one, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The local


lovelyn's husband and daughter
 
Detail from Lovelyn Miglietta, panel two, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Design: Iona Walsh.  

 

 

 

Lovelyn came to Lightning Ridge because it was Bruno’s home. She has built a life there around her husband, her daughter and their business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The personal in historical context

Leaving family and country is a way of life for many Filipinos, but it is a risk. Women are especially vulnerable far from home, often in domestic situations where such work is poorly regulated. Friends and family members are scattered far and wide. A collection of stamped envelopes from various parts of the world that Lovelyn has kept, formed part of her display in the exhibition. Comments from Lovelyn were placed next to the ‘letters’ to give a sense of the personal stories of which hers is one.

letter  
text panel
Example from Lovelyn Miglietta 'letter' display, Migration Memories: Lightning Ridge. Click to enlarge.

 

Looking back on the project


 
lovelyn with Bruno and their daughter
 

Lovely Ann, Bruno and Lovelyn Miglietta at Migration Memories, National Museum of Australia. Photograph: Lannon Harley, 2007.

Lovelyn
At first I’m really unconfident to do it… It’s my private life, why let the world know where I came from? But I discussed it with my husband and he said, ‘It’s okay, go ahead if you like’.  Then I discussed it with my brother and one of my best friends… My brother said, ‘You should be proud of it!’… I suppose they [the audience] can see my experience and how I handle all those trials because not everybody does this. I hope it will be some example for new migrants to come here… [It] makes me very confident and proud of myself.

lovelyn and bruno's wedding photo

Lovelyn and Bruno Miglietta's wedding photograph. Courtesy Lovelyn Miglietta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary
In discussing how to present the story of Lovelyn’s marriage to Bruno, we decided to include but not focus on memorabilia of their wedding. When Lovelyn’s story was displayed at the National Museum, it was set up in a way that placed the wedding memorabilia in an intimate corner position. I found it very interesting that audience members were often drawn to this spot. Some people commented that the recognisable detail of the material provided a way of connecting sympathetically with Lovelyn’s story. In the local environment of Lightning Ridge it had seemed more likely to produce criticism of her migration experience.