Presenter: Elmari Whyte (Confirmation milestone)

The first four decades of the twentieth century saw the largest total number of non-indigenous Australians employed in domestic service. A significant sub-group of those were British domestic service migrants, encouraged by and supported under the Empire Settlement Act 1922. This presentation tells the story of one such migrant, Maggie Pearson. She arrived in Brisbane in 1929, and was among 564 women who trained at the Market Harborough Domestic Training Centre in Leicestershire for domestic service in Australia. Through both the letters she sends to the New Settlers’ League, and the letters others send about her, we get a sense of a life that is not always present in the historical record.