Following the end of the Second World War there was a push to entice migrants from European countries to lay down roots here in Australia and New Zealand.
This led to the formation of the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1945, which allowed willing British migrants to make the vast journey down under by boat for the cost of just £10.
‘Ten Pound Poms’ as they were affectionately dubbed soon began arriving in their thousands at ports across Australia, with some of those making the journey going on to become some of Australia’s biggest names in politics, music and show business.
Two of the country’s former prime ministers landed in Australia as Ten Pound Poms with their families.
Australia’s first ever female PM Julia Gillard bid farewell to her hometown of Barry, South Wales, in 1966 with her parents John and Moira Gillard. The Gillards left the UK to start a new life for themselves in Adelaide after Julia, then just five years old, was struck down with pneumonia.
Six years before Gillard touched down on Aussie soil though, ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott made the six-week long boat journey to his mother’s home country of Australia. The formal Liberal leader was born in London and is the oldest of four children to parents Fay and Richard Abbott.
Abbott was just two years old when he, along with his parents and younger sister Jane, waved goodbye to the UK and set sail for Sydney on the SS Oronsay. Abbott returned to the UK in his youth and studied at the prestigious Oxford University before beginning his priesthood studies at St Patrick’s Seminary in 1984.
Despite being the toast of Australia, musical brothers Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC actually spent the first half of their childhood in Glasgow, Scotland, before moving to Australia. Angus, then eight, and Malcolm, 10, boarded a chartered plane in June 1963 along with 13 other members of the Young family. Two decades later the brothers formed one of the most famous rock bands of all time – AC/DC.
Another musical family to swap their lives in England for Australia were the Gibb brothers – better known as The Bee Gees. Born on the Isle of Man to English parents Barbara and Hugh, the Gibb brothers grew up in the northern English town of Chorlton until the late 1950s.
Then in August 1958 the family, including older sister Lesley and infant brother Andy, emigrated to Redcliffe in Queensland and it was here that The Bee Gees were formed. The brothers began performing to raise pocket money, before being introduced to local radio DJ Bill Gates by speedway driver Bill Goode, who initially hired the brothers to entertain the crowd at the Redcliffe Speedway in 1960.
While Hugh Jackman is not technically a Ten Pound Pom himself, having been born in Sydney in 1968, his parents Grace and Christopher had come to Australia the year earlier as part of the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme.
Another showbiz superstar with a similar background is Aussie icon Kylie Minogue whose mother emigrated from Wales at the age of just 12 in 1955, travelling to Australia on the SS New Australia.
Did you know these famous Aussies were Ten Pound Poms? Did your family move here on the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme?