“Populate or perish” was the opinion of the Curtin Government prior to World War 2, therefore post war, the Chifley Government created and implemented the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. In order to increase Australia’s population and economic viability, immigration was vital. Negotiations were underway with the British Government in order to secure a populous that would easily assimilate with Australian life. Although remnants from the White Australian Policy made it difficult for some to immigrate, generally assisted passage was open to all Commonwealth countries, and refugees from worn- torn Europe. Migrants paid ten pounds for each adult and children came for free. Some migrants returned to England because Australia was not for them, but most families thrived and prospered.
The O’Connell family migrated in the 1950s from Salford, England. Dan O’Connell’s cousin Vince convinced the family to join him and create a better life. Dan and his family arrived first, followed by his brother James, his wife Kathleen and their children. The extended family was complete with the arrival of their sister Lucy, her husband Edward Fitzsimmons and their three sons. All of the siblings established a great family life for themselves and their descendants, in Australia.