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Men's squatter hat

Date: c 1960
Clothing size: 59
Overall: 110 x 370 mm
Medium: Felt, fine wool, vinyl
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from David Paris
Object Name: Hat
Object No: 00045445

User Terms

    The squatter hat belonged to David Paris, who migrated from Britain to Australia in 1955 with the Big Brother Movement, one of several youth migration schemes established in the 20th century.
    SignificanceThe squatter hat - the quintessential Australian accessory - was acquired for farm work during David Paris' first farming position in Deniliquin. 'Before' and 'after' shots of Little Brothers used in the Big Brother Movement's promotional material invariably contrasted pasty British youth with the bronzed Akubra-clad farm lad of Australia.
    HistoryDavid Paris migrated from Britain to Australia with the Big Brother Movement in 1955, sailing on SS OTRANTO.

    The Big Brother Movement was founded in 1925 by Australian businessman Richard Linton and was one of several youth migration schemes established in the 20th century. The initial aim of the movement was to populate rural Australia with 'good British stock' (in keeping with the White Australia Policy) and to provide British youth with fresh opportunities.

    The first group of more than 200 'Little Brothers' sailed from England on JERVIS BAY, arriving in Australia on 14 December 1925. In the years up to 1947 they were trained for farm work at various government-run training farms such as Scheyville in NSW.

    The flow of young men first ceased in 1931 due to the Depression, recommenced briefly in 1939, and was again brought to a halt with the outbreak of World War II. Resuming again in 1947, the Big Brother Movement sponsored over 12,000 young men to settle in Australia up until 1982.

    In April 1947 the Movement purchased a 600 acre property known as "Karmsley Hills" near Liverpool NSW for use as a training farm. Between 1947 and 1971 nearly 4,000 British boys passed through this establishment.

    David Paris spent some time at the Big Brother Training Farm before being sent to his first position on "Mayrung" sheep, cattle and wheat farm near Deniliquin NSW. He worked more than 66 hours a week and earned 4 pounds per week. Each day he rose at dawn to milk the two house cows, separate the cream and make butter. Other tasks included chopping firewood for the cooking stove, butchering, ploughing, mowing, irrigating, herding, shearing, dagging, dehorning, drenching, castrating, fencing and building.

    By the late 1950s more and more Little Brothers were arriving destined for city work rather than farming. The average age of the lads up to the 1960s was 16 years. Later arrivals tended to be up to 20 years old.

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