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Australian copy book belonging to Lily Knapton

Date: 1910
Dimensions:
Overall: 183 x 214 mm, 4 mm, 0.005 kg
Medium: Ink on paper, iron, pencil
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gary McPherson
Classification:Books and journals
Object Name: Book
Object No: 00028046
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This school copy book belonged to Lily Knapton, who migrated to Australia with her mother on SS RUNIC in 1909. The book was approved by the Departments of Public Instruction of New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania in 1910. Copy books were designed to develop student’s handwriting skills through repetitively writing the alphabet and sentences.
    SignificanceThis book reveals fascinating details about social conditions and education in the British Empire at the turn of the century. It provides a valuable record of a young English migrant's voyage and subsequent settlement in Australia in the early 20th century.
    HistoryThe Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was the first major piece of legislation passed by Australia's new federal parliament. The Act placed certain restrictions on immigration and reflected the government's desire to build a white Australia.

    The government's preference was for immigrants from Britain and it offered cheap fares to attract them to Australia. Many Britons saw emigration as a chance to find work and establish a new life.

    In 1909 eight-year-old Lily Knapton and her mother departed Liverpool on the White Star liner SS RUNIC. They were migrating to Australia to join Lily's father, who was working as a tailor in Melbourne, Victoria. From 1901 to 1930 RUNIC operated a regular migrant service from Liverpool to Sydney.

    Lily brought her favourite toys, clothes and school books with her. She kept them all her life as souvenirs of her former life in Britain and her childhood voyage on SS RUNIC.
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