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Estonian House in Sydney Australia


October 2007 - The Estonian Society of Sydney "Eesti Kodu Linda" is celebrating its 80th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the Archives presents an overview of the activities of the Society including folk dancing, choirs, theatre, concerts, balls, fundraising, language classes and publication of the newspaper "Meie Kodu".

Estonian Concert Ball 1939

Balls and concerts were very popular before World War II


Estonian language theatre was flourishing before WW III

Extended until July 2008 - Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, Harris St, Ultimo

advert Our new home - Meie uus kodu - Estonian-Australian Stories

Stories of invasion, dispossession, and settling in a new home, told by the Estonian migrants who came here as displaced persons post-WWII.

Lorraine Alp, Thirlmere

View online exhibition »

The Powerhouse Museum and the NSW Migration Heritage Centre thanks the Estonian community in Sydney for their generous cooperation and assistance. In particular, the Estonian Archives in Australia and the Thirlmere community.

A joint exhibition of the NSW Migration Heritage Centre and Powerhouse Museum in partnership with the Wollondilly Heritage Centre.

You can also visit Our New Home at the
Australian Communities Gallery, Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo

Image: Lorraine Alp pictured with fruit from the family orchard at Thirlmere, NSW, where many Estonian families settled. Courtesy Wollondilly Heritage Centre and the Alp family

Crown copyright 2006 © NSW Migration Heritage Centre

January 2007 - Eesti laste raamatud", a nostalgic look at our childhood. Everyone who loves books remembers books from their childhood, the books your parents read to you, the books you read yourself, the book you longed to own. This exhibition of children's books covers the classics of Estonian children's literature, the primers and children's books published in the early refugee years. Much discussion preceeded this exhibition as everyone had a favourite book that they were sure had to be included. The EAA holds a substantial collection of childrens books and primers from the 1920s to the present day.

Estonian Childrens Books

A much loved book "Kadakas"

February 2006 - “Eesti sõõgid, Eesti joogid,” “Estonian Foods, Estonian drinks” an exhibition about the eating and drinking habits of Estonians from peasant foods to fine dining. We all remember the food that our mothers cooked but where did she get her recipes from? Estonians ate what they grew, collected or hunted. Old books and magazines show how the housewives were encouraged to provide healthier meals and to improve the presentation of food. Many recipes have been translated into other languages enabling us to enjoy Estonian style food anywhere in the world.

February 2005 - "Kalevipoeg". The Archive holds many editions of the heroic epic "Kalevipoeg", in Estonian and English, and several books showing artworks based on the Kalevipoeg theme.

Many Estonian artists have illustrated various editions of "Kalevipoeg"

Many famous Estonian artists have illustrated various editions of "Kalevipoeg"

This exhibition allows the viewer to compare the old and the modern editions and various artist's interpretations of the theme.

The themes and symbolism of "Kalevipoeg" have been used in art, literature and advertising.

The themes and symbolism of "Kalevipoeg" have been used in art, literature and advertising.

December 2004 - January 2005 - "Happily Australian but Estonian Too", ACT Heritage Library, Woden Library cnr Corinna and Furzer Sts Phillip. An additional panel has been created and the displays have been reworked to reflect the activities of the small Estonian Community in Canberra. On show are photographs showing the living conditions of the early migrants and the building of Canberra as well as newspaper clippings and artefacts showing the contribution of the Estonians to the general cultural and political life in Canberra.

May 2004 - June 2004 - "Happily Australian but Estonian Too", the exhibition is open in the Estonian House Sydney. The displays have been reworked to reflect the activities of the Estonian Community in Sydney. The exhibition opening was held together with the launch of the newly redesigned webpage for the Estonians in Australia.

December 2003 - February 2004 - "Happily Australian but Estonian Too". Migration Museum, Kintore Ave, Adelaide, South Australia. An exhibition reflecting the lives of Estonians in Australia from the late 1880s to the present day. This exhibition is part of the XX Estonian Festival in Australia.

The first Estonians arrived in Australia in the mid 1800s. A large migration, mainly to the eastern states took place in the mid 1920s and the greatest migration came after World War II. This exhibition looks at three generations of Estonian Australians or Australian Estonians and highlights the activities of the Estonian community in Adelaide during the last 50 years.

May 2003 - "Estonian Song". An overview of choral singing and choral festivals from the late 1800s to the present day. Programmes and photographs from song festivals in Estonia from 1880s to 1940, Germany during the refugee years 1945-1950 and from all over the world post 1950.

May 2002 - "Preserving the Estonian Cultural Heritage in Australia" . An exhibition showing the various ways the Estonian heritage has been kept alive in Australia.

On show are minute books from early Estonian organisations such as the first Estonian Society in Sydney founded 1912, the Kungla Co-operative in Thirlmere NSW and the "Estonia" sports club in Adelaide, newsletters from Lutheran congregations in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, memorabilia from the scout and guide movements and summer camps as well as jubilee albums from organisations from many states.

February 2002 - An exhibition by the Art and Craft Guild of dolls in national costume. These dolls were a group project prepared for the 19th Estonian Festival in Melbourne, December 2001

August - November 2001 - An exhibition to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-establishment of independence for Estonia.


Estonia then and now

May 2001 - Sydney Estonian folk dancers "Virmalised" . The "old Estonians" ie those who were here before WW II started many organisations, including a folk dancing group. Arrival of the Estonians after the war gave it new life and now, more than 50 years later, young Australians of Estonian descent carry on the cultural traditions of their forbearers.

Virmalised performing in Canberra, 2001

Virmalised performing in Canberra, 2001

April 2001 - 50th anniversary exhibition of the Australian chapter of the Estonian University Womens Society.

February 2001 - "Birth of the Republic of Estonia and the short years of independence 1918-1940".

November 2000 - A retrospective of the works of author Peeter Lindsaar on the 10th anniversary of his death.

April 2000 to April 2001 - A series of exhibitions to celebrate the Estonian Year of the Book 2000.

Estonian Year of the Book, 2000

April 2000 - 18th Estonian Festival exhibition, "Estonians in Australia - 300 years". The first Estonians came to Australia in 1696 as part of Willem de Vlamingh's expedition to the Great South Land. Later sailors like Gustav Einsaar came here in the 1880s. Many Estonians migrated to Australia in the 1920s but the greatest influx came after World War II. The exhibition was divided into two parts, - the people and organisations in Australia pre WW II and after WW II.

Activities of Estonians pre World War II

Activities of Estonians pre World War II

Activities of post World War II migrants

Activities of post World War II migrants

March 2000 - An exhibition of rare books found in the archive.

October 1999 - "Meie Kodu" 50th anniversary exhibition. A display of correspondence, photographs, articles and ephemera highlighting the events and the people who have been associated with the newspaper.

June 1999 - An exhibition of photographs, memoirs, diaries, books and medals to celebrate Victory Day.

June 1998 - "The War of Independence" 1918-1920 an exhibition of medals, photographs, maps, memoirs and artefacts.

November 1997 - Exhibition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Sydney Estonian Society "Eesti Kodu Linda". The Society was formed by the amalgamation of two Estonian societies "Eesti Kodu" and "Linda". On display was the flag of the Sydney Estonian Society "Linda" and the Estonian and Australian flags used at the opening of Estonian House.

Blessing of the flag of SES " Linda", 1927

Blessing of the flag of SES " Linda", 1927

50 years of work on "Meie Kodu"

50 years of work on "Meie Kodu"

June 1996 - "Down Memory Lane" an overview of the activities of Estonians in Australia including the newspaper "Meie Kodu", scholarly works, literature, music, theatre, youth activities such as language schools, scouts and guides and sport.

Down memory lane - Estonian exhibition

View of exhibition

June 1996 - Exhibition of photographs and newspapers relating to Victory Day and World War II

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Estonian House
141 Campbell St
Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia

Email: archives@eesti.org.au

Postal address: PO Box 492
Darlinghurst NSW 1300, Australia

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This page is sponsored by the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia

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