Photo: Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid with Maie Barrow, Reet Simmul at the Archive, Sydney 2018.

Maie Barrow honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award

On February 24th, at the Independence Day ceremony in the Sydney Estonian House, Dr Juho Looveer, Chairman of the Council of Estonian Societies in Australia, presented Maie Barrow with a Lifetime Achievement Award. “The Council of Estonian Societies in Australia expresses its deepest thanks and appreciation for your long-term commitment over several decades and your contribution to maintaining Estonian culture, especially your work recording the history of Estonians in Australia, through which you have helped to preserve the Estonian traditions […]

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New Opening Hours: Thursdays 10am – 3pm

From Thursday, 15th of February, the Archive will be open Thursdays, 10am to 3pm or by appointment.

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Maie Barrow and Dr Terry Kass

Terry Kass appointed new Honorary Archivist. Maie Barrow steps down after 29 years

After 29 years as honorary archivist for the Estonian Archives in Australia, Maie Barrow has decided to retire. Maie remains on the Council of EAA and will continue to work in the Archive as a volunteer. “We would like to thank Maie on behalf of the AESL, all Estonian Societies and organisations across Australia for all that she has achieved in the 29 years that she has been with the EAA. Over the years, Maie has grown and transformed all […]

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Maie Barrow, archivist and Kristi Karelson, Director General, Estonian Foreign Ministry

Archive recognised in 2023 Citizen Day awards

EAA is honoured to have been recognised in this year’s Citizen Day awards. The archive has existed for 71 years and in that time many volunteers have devoted their time and experiences both in the Archive and on the Archives Council. It is gratifying to have their contribution recognised. “Estonia’s greatest wealth is our people. Today, I would like to thank the dedicated and inspiring people who are preserving Estonian cultural identity and raising Estonia’s profile across the world. During […]

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Professor Bettany Hughes travels to the country of Estonia. Neighbouring Russia, Scandinavia and Germany, Estonia has been fought over and ruled by these foreign empires throughout history. Watch on SBS

Bettany Hughes’ Treasures Of The World; Estonia

Did you miss Bettany Hughes’ Treasures Of The World; Estonia on SBS? Watch it on SBS on Demand now!…/bettany-hughes…/2269831747698

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Estonian Archives in Austalia Donation Appeal for 2023

2023 EAA Donation Appeal

It’s that time of year again and we are kicking off our EAA donation appeal for 2023. Please help support our major project to digitise the Estonian Festivals collection. The first Festival was held in Sydney in 1954 and has continued to be held every 2 or 3 years ever since. Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, take it in turns to hold the Festival. The collection which showcases Estonian cultural activity in Australia consists of films, videos, cassette tapes, albums, programs, […]

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Archive at the Christmas Market – Dec 4

The archive is selling books (in English and Estonian) dictionaries, magazines ephemeral and records, CDs and DVDs at the Sydney Eesti Selts – Estonian Society of Sydney Inc Christmas Market on December 4 at Sydney Estonian House, 10am to 2.30pm. Come and grab a bargain!

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The Estonian Australian population has increased 21% since the last census

In the most recent census (2021), 11,598 Australians identified as having Estonian Ancestry. This is a 21% increase compared to the last census held 5 years ago in 2016 All states & territories increased their Estonian Australia Population, apart from NT which had a slight decrease of 6%. The biggest % increase cam from WA with 34%, and the biggest actual increase was in NSW with an additional 685 people (19%). State 2016 2021 % NSW 3,580 4,265 19% VIC […]

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Annual Donation Appeal

Thank you to all who supported our fundraising drive to digitise the oral history collection last year. That project is now complete and we are now investigating ways to make this more widely accessible. This year we are asking you to support our current project which is to collect, assess, describe and digitise the Estonian Festival / Eesti Päevad material. It is nearly 70 years since the first Eesti Päevad in Sydney. We have films, videos, photographs and sound recordings […]

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Do you have any films, videos or photos from the past Estonian Festivals?

Estonian Archives in Australia congratulates the Melbourne organising committee on a successful Estonian Festival, the XXVIII Eesti Päevad. We are continuing to acquire, assess, describe and digitise our Estonian Festivals collection. If you have any films, videos or photographs of the Festivals we would like to hear from you! Please contact us via email on

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Archives Volunteers 2018

New archivist for Estonian Archives in Australia – Call for expressions of interest

The Honorary Archivist of the Estonian Archives in Australia (EAA), Maie Barrow is looking to retire this year, after 27 years in the position. We are seeking expressions of interest in this position. The Archive will shortly move to a purpose-designed archival facility within Estonian House. We would like to appoint a successor soon to faciliate a transition period and to meet the current team of volunteers. Desirable qualities include: be capable of speaking, reading and writing in Estonian; an […]

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Cheers to 70 years of Estonian Australian history

This month, the Estonian Archives in Australia officially turned 70. Established on the 5th of January, 1952, the Archive has served the Estonian community for 70 years by being the repository for the history of Estonian activity and achievement in Australia. It hosts visitors from all states of Australia and from overseas. The number of both local and overseas enquiries grows each year as descendants of the post war immigrants research their family histories. It hosts visitors from all states […]

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Estonian Archives in Australia is 70!

The Estonian Archives in Australia officially turned 70 on the 5th of January, 2022! Along with the Council of Estonian Societies, the Archive has been operating on a volunteer basis since 1952.

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Vale Reet Simmul

Born 18/05/1940 Tallinn, EstoniaDied 3/12/2021 Young, NSW, Australia Reet was born in Tallinn in a free Estonia.  Within months the situation changed when first Soviet and then German troops swept across Estonia. In September 1944 Reet’s mother with two small children, Reet, and her brother Ants, fled the advancing Soviet troops.  She had a sister in Austria and the family set out to travel there. After the war Reet’s family was in a displaced persons camp and chose to migrate […]

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Presenting at the 6th BaltHerNet conference “No Topic Conference”

Two volunteers from the Archive will be speaking on Day 2 of the 6th BaltHerNet conference “No Topic Conference” which will take place September 15th-16th/ 16th -17th (Australia Time) on Zoom.  Maie Barrow will be presenting on “Sharing our archive with the world”; and  Kristi Barrow will be discussing “Starting a social media program”.  We will be sharing the session with Ave Maria Blithe from Estonian Archives in the US and Ann Tündern-Smith from the Canberra & District Historical Society.The […]

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Thank you to the 2021 Friends of the Archive

A big Thank You to everyone who donated to our fundraising drive to digitise the oral history collection. Due to your generosity we have exceeded our target and have the first lot of videos digitised.  Now the work starts on describing and cataloguing the digitised tapes and making them available to all. The next lot of videos to be digitised are the interviews, in Estonian, recorded by Lembit Blauhut in 1995. They comprise 25 hours of interviews with Estonians from […]

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The Big Dead Dry by Portia Stanton-Noble – A new book for the Archive

The Big Dead Dry by Portia Stanton-Noble, published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd. London, is a welcome addition to our collection of books by Estonian/Australian authors. Portia was born in Melbourne to Estonian parents who migrated here after WWII. She currently lives in South Australia and her book was launched at the Adelaide Estonian House in April 2021. The entertaining novel is a combination of murder mystery, drama, comedy and romance in a small country town.The book is available from […]

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Help us Digitise our UNESCO recognised Oral History Collection

It is tax return time again and the Estonian Archives in Australia are asking for your help. This year EAA was honoured and recognised when our Oral History collection was inscribed into the UNESCO Australian Memory of the World Register as part of “Migration Voices: Estonian Oral Histories 1952-2020”. The oral histories are currently on cassettes and VHS videos. The cassettes are being digitised in Estonia but we need to digitise the VHS tapes to prevent the loss of this […]

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Unesco Memories of the World Australia

Estonian Archives in Australia oral history collection inscribed into the Australian Memory of the World Register.

Estonian Archives in Australia oral history collection inscribed into the Australian Memory of the World Register. March 24, 2021 A virtual ceremony held online with over 80 participants witnessed the inscription of 10 groups of records on the Australian Memory of the World register on Friday, 26 February 2021. The Memory of the World Register is maintained by UNESCO as a record of documents, books and other records of enduring worth for the world. It is a parallel register to […]

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The Story Continues...

Our Story

The Story Continues… Estonian House, Sydney Australia and Online Estonians have been coming to Australia for hundreds of years. This exhibition chronicles the lives of Estonians who have travelled to Australia across different time periods from 1696 to present! Some like the early sailors in 1696 only stayed a few months, others arrived in the goldrush days either legally or by jumping ship. A large migration started in the 1920s and soon there were sizeable communities in Victoria, New South Wales and […]

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Estonian Oral Histories to be inscribed on Australian Memory of the World Register.

The Memory of the World Register is maintained by UNESCO as a record of documents, books and other records of enduring worth for the world. It is a parallel register to the World Heritage Register of Places. The Australian section of the Register includes records such as the convict records held in the NSW, West Australian and Tasmanian Archives, the Endeavour journal of Captain James Cook, and the First Fleet journals. A major entry on the Register is ‘Migration Voices’, […]

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The Archive is now Open in 20201

The Archive is now open again in 2021!

We are following the Covid Safety plan of Estonian House and everyone will need to comply with the safety procedures. 2021 Opening Hours Wednesdays10am to 3pm Please contact us beforehand so we can accommodate your visit.

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Secrets of a Scchoolyard Millionaire | Koolihoovi miljonäri saladused

Our latest acquisition, “Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire” | „Koolihoovi miljonäri saladused”

Our latest acquisition may or may not have arrived via an International Book Fair in Bologna. 🤷‍♀‍ 🇮🇹 🌏 Sydney based, Australian author Nat Amoore‘s book was acquired by the Estonian Publisher Eesti Raamat and is now available in Estonian!!! “Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire“ is the hilarious story of one bag of cash, two best friends and a whole lot of trouble. Titled „Koolihoovi miljonäri saladused“, the book is available from the main Estonian book stores including Rahva Raamat […]

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Terry Kass Mander Jones Award

Dr Terry Kass receives the Mander Jones Award, 2019

As well as acting as chair of the Estonian Archives in Australia, Dr Terry Kass is a practising professional historian. At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Australian Society of Archivists on 18 September 2020, his recent publication, Unlocking land: A guide to Crown Land Records held at State Archives NSW received an award as the best finding aid to an archival collection held in an Australian institution published in 2019. The guide has been well received within the […]

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Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid visits the Archive, October 2018

On this Day Oct 21, 2018 – President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid visits the Archive

Two years ago today, the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, visited the Estonian Archives in Australia at the Sydney Estonian House. Archivists Maie Barrow and Reet Simmul introduced the collection and showed off some of the treasures in the Archive. The President praised the important work of the volunteers in collecting and preserving the history of the Estonians in Australia and showed great interest in the collection The index cards of the prewar Consulate hold information about the early Estonian […]

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Crowds gathered at the harbour hoping to board any remaining ships

The Great Escape 1944

This month marks 76 years since “The Great Escape.  In September 1944, over 75,000 people fled Estonian to escape the advancing Red Army. The EAA volunteers and Lachlan Bell curated “The Great Escape 1944” exhibition that is currently on display in the foyer of Estonian House Sydney.  This is also the first exhibition we have put online and is available for you to view anywhere in the world! The Great Escape 1944 – Online Exhibition Crowds gathered at Tallinn Harbour, […]

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Reet Simmul

Why I work at the Archives – Reet Simmul

Early Life I was born just one month before the first Soviet Occupation, so I could apply for an Estonian passport with my birth certificate. My mother, younger brother and I left on the “Minden” as Tallinn was burning. Since father was a mechanic as well as pilot he was ordered to stay, in case aircraft needed repairs. My aunt had married an Austrian, so we had a destination, Vienna. We lived there until the Soviets captured the city and […]

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Most Rev. Karlis A. M. Tennisons, the Buddist Archbishop of Latvia.” and The Most Rev. Friedrich Lustig.

EAA is pleased to acknowledge the funding from the Estonian Cultural Foundation in Australia Ltd

EAA is pleased to acknowledge the funding from the Estonian Cultural Foundation in Australia Ltd which will allow us to digitise a rare manuscript in our collection. The manuscript is entitled “The Mahatma of the Baltics. The memorable life of the Most Rev. Karlis A. M. Tennisons, the Buddist Archbishop of Latvia.” By The Most Rev. Friedrich Lustig. The manuscript is over 600 foolscap pages long and is extremely fragile. Making it available in a digital form will save the […]

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Happy Moon Day

Happy Moon Day – July 20th

Happy Moon Day! Today is the anniversary of the first moon landing, July 20, 1969. Did you know that an Estonian flag was flown to the moon thanks to the NASA astronauts? We know this because the Archive received a copy of the letter from Senator Charles H. Percy to Mr Pleer, American Estonian council. which informed us that the Estonian flag had been taken to the Moon by the crew of Apollo XVI in 1972. The letter was even […]

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The Spill - Imbi Neeme

Our latest acquisition – “The Spill” by Imbi Neeme

The Archive is not only for old black and white photos and historic artefacts!!! We also collect material that reflects the current activities of Estonian Australians. Our latest acquisition is a book by Imbi Neeme “The Spill” which was published recently by Penguin Books Australia and the winner of the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize. This book is a welcome addition to our Estonian/Australian authors collection. Read an excerpt and find out more about the book here: Extract | The Spill by […]

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EAA End of Financial Year Appeal

There is only week left before the end of the financial year! Can you help the Archives with a small donation before the end of the financial year? Want to find Estonian relatives in Australia or your family’s history here or research some aspect of Estonian life in Australia? The Estonian Archives in Australia holds documents, photos, audio recordings, books and other materials which can assist. Access is FREE! We are a fully volunteer run organisation. The Archive relies on […]

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EAA receives Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status

The Australian Government has recognised the work done by the Estonian Archives in Australia through registration as a Cultural Organisation and the grant of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status for taxation purposes. The Archives are the only Estonian organisation in Australia to have this status. The DGR status means that all donations of $2 and over to the Archives’ Kris Kaldma fund are now tax-deductible. EAA has set up a separate account, the Kris Kaldma Fund to receive the tax-deductible […]

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Estonian Language School Adelaide 1960s

Welcome to our new website

Welcome to our new Estonian Archives in Australia website, While we are always happy to have visitors we realise that not everyone can visit the Archive in person. We are happy to be able to share our treasures with you online. We have not updated our old site much since it was originally launched back in 2001 and a great deal has changed over the last 20 years! We have a brand new logo thanks to Lachlan Bell and a new website […]

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