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Cultural Historical Association of Rodriguans & Mauritians in Victoria Inc.

Beyond the Postcard Image....Mauritians and Rodriguans in Victoria

Purchase your souvenir copy of this limited edition CHARM publication

Only 250 copies available now

Donation $10 per copy

Publication can be ordered  via email, sms or telephone call as follows:


Email: president@charm.org.au or secretary@charm.org.au

Go to our Gallery page to view photos of the Exhibition and Festival

Festival Program

Program for LaFaya 2007 Festival at Immigration Museum on 18 March 2007

Request for club/organisation display at 18 March 2007 festival

The Immigration Museum will host a one-day Mauritian and Rodriguan Festival on Sunday 18 March 2007 to close the exhibition Beyond the Postcard Image - Mauritians and Rodriguans in Victoria

CHARM has been working with the Museum staff to coordinate and plan the festival. They are keen to host a display for interested community groups/social clubs/ charities within our community and lots more.

1. Are you interested to have a display? The set up would be similar to what we had at previous La Faya Festival, perhaps a bit less space! Ideally the Museum would like this to be upstairs in the Long Room, click on this link for more info: Immigration Museum's Long Room

2. Are you interested with the following or do you know anyone who would be keen to contribute in the following ways:

* volunteer as a helper on the day- crowd control, give directions and information, assist with workshops, story telling, library/reading room etc

* be a speaker (people of all ages welcome) - present information about your activities to the general public, perhaps focusing on "hot" topics, such as help raise awareness about certain illnesses, fundraising efforts etc, topics that affects our communities, social, medical, cultural, perhaps talks that would help you inspire and motivate young and old.

* tell stories (in French and Creole)to the younger children as part of their activities for the day

* coordinate a food, games stall (carom/domino/other traditional games), petanque demo or friendly game

* dance and/or sing, coordinate a dance and music workshop, DJ

* mc

* anything else you believe would add value to the festival and exhibition? Suggestions are welcome!

Can you please advise us what you are keen to help with?

We will be meeting with the Museum on 14 February 2007 so your reply before 11 February would be very much appreciated.

Together we can continue to make a difference.

Thank you for your ongoing support and efforts. We look forward to hearing from you.

The CHARM Committee

Click on this link for visitor information about the Museum Visitor Information

See beyond the tropical island postcard at Immigration Museum

A new exhibition at the Immigration Museum reveals the surprisingly diverse culture and heritage of people from the tiny Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

Beyond the Postcard Image: Mauritians and Victorians in Victoria focuses on a small and relatively unknown community – exploring their history in Victoria, and giving voice to a multifaceted sense of identity.

Approximately 2000 km off the east coast of Africa, the previously uninhabited islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues were settled by a mix of Africans, Indians, Chinese and Europeans from around 1650. Dutch and later French settlers imported African slaves to cut ebony during the 17 th and 18 th centuries. When the British took control in 1810, their abolition of slavery 25 years later was followed by the importation of indentured labour from India.

This unique history has fostered the development of a hybrid culture for Mauritian and Rodriguan people, influenced by the language and traditions of three continents.

Beyond the Postcard Image highlights Victoria’s small but vibrant Mauritian and Rodriguan community, through personal stories, objects, photographs and information panels. The exhibition explores the community’s diversity through language and food, as well as important cultural traditions, such as séga (pronounced ‘say-gah’) music and dance, which was originally developed by African and Madagascan slaves.

Proud of their layered ancestry, Mauritians and Rodriguans today view it as a source of a social and cultural adaptability that has allowed them to find a comfortable space in Australia’s multicultural landscape.

“What I valued most [about Australia] was the opportunity to nurture my children in a society where the individual is not judged according to job status, qualifications or lack of them; nor are they judged according to family roots,” says Micheline Jones, who arrived in 1971. “Here, my children have felt free to be themselves.”

“We have maintained our Mauritian culture, while adopting the Australian way of life,” adds Jose Hortense, who arrived with his family in 1984. “My daughters continue to speak French and we… cook Mauritian food. The
grand-daughters have their own séga dress and dance the séga at school. They are half Mauritian – Dad is Aussie.”

According to the 2001 Census, there are almost 17,000 Mauritius-born people in Australia, and around half of the community lives in Victoria.

Beyond the Postcard Image: Mauritians and Rodriguans in Victoria is an exhibition showing at the Immigration Museum from 4 November 2006 until 18 March 2007.

The Immigration Museum will host a one-day Mauritian and Rodriguan Festival on Sunday 18 March 2007.

Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne.     Open daily 10am to 5pm.    
$6 Adult; FREE children/concessions.     Enquiries: (03) 9927 2754 or museumvictoria.com.au  

- ENDS -

The Immigration Museum Project 2005/06
“Beyond the postcard image…”

“Beyond the postcard image…”

Exhibition at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne

“The people of Mauritius and Rodrigues, two small and exotic islands in the Indian Ocean, are a multi-ethnic community that tries to balance the challenges of integration with old conflicts and loyalties, a process that has been transported and continues to be negotiated among Mauritian and Rodriguan immigrants to Australia.”

Most migrants from Mauritius and Rodrigues have integrated well and established themselves as a strong and vibrant community in Victoria.

This exhibition reveals that beyond the picture-postcard tropical island heritage, the Mauritian and Rodriguan community is innately diverse - in religious, folkloric and culinary traditions…

For more information about the exhibition contact CHARM Vic


Cultural festival Sunday 18 March 2007

To celebrate cultural Diversity week and to close the exhibition, a mini La Faya Festival will be held at The Immigration Museum.

A committee is currently being formed to coordinate this event, if you are interested to be on the committee or wish to showcase your rich cultural heritage and talents.

Continue to make a difference...

Be part of your community’s project



CHARM cordially invites you to a get together on Sunday 7 May 2006 between 12.30 - 2.30pm

Location: Mauritian Golden Age Club (Menzies Hall) Menzies Avenue, Dandenong

Why: to celebrate and share our diverse and exotic Mauritian and Rodriguan cuisines.

The Immigration Museum project is on track, the exhibition is taking shape and text panels are being written, objects list compiled and undergoing review.

Now, the Immigration Museum would like us to include the following in the November 2006 exhibition:

Photos of a variety of typical/authentic dishes that characterise our diverse cultural heritage

Photos of various faces of people to reflect the cultural diversity of our community

So please join us

Let’s have some fun taking photos and sharing a Mauritian/Rodriguan fare

Bring your favourite Mauritian/Rodriguan dish to share

One that you would usually prepare for family get togethers, lunches and dinners

We will need a variety of dishes, including sweets that truly reflect our rich cultural heritage

So please join us

Continue to make a difference

Be a part of History

Be part of your community’s project!

This is also your chance to win an exclusive invitation to the “Beyond the postcard image…” Exhibition Opening Night

All you need to do is join us and your name will go into the Competition Draw

To RSVP and to let us know what you can bring,

Email: secretary@charm.org.au

Copy of Handout Community Consultation Meeting - 27 November 2005

Immigration Project Questionnaire

Please download and complete one of the following questionnaires and email the completed questionnaire to secretary@charm.org.au or mail it to President, C.H.A.R.M, at 73 Shetland Street, Endeavour Hills 3802 by the end of December 2005.

Questionnaire 1 is to be filled by persons born in Mauritius or Rodrigues who migrated to Australia as an adult or child. Questionnaire 2 is to be filled by the "younger generation", i.e. persons born in Australia of at least one Mauritian or Rodriguan parent.

Interview Questionnaire 1

Interview Questionnaire 2

Invitation to attend photo/interview sessions (details below)

As announced at La Faya 2005, CHARM's application to hold an exhibition at the Immigration Museum in 2006 was successful, our community has been invited to host this from Wednesday 1 November 2006 to Sunday 11 February 2007 in the Community Gallery of the Immigration Museum.

We have met with the Immigration Museum and the exhibition themes put forward in our application have undergone some changes to meet their requirements .

So far we have held a few community consultation sessions. A few of you have attended or kept in touch and had your say. As this project needs to meet some tight and strict deadlines set by the Museum, we need more feedback, input, support and contribution. An update will be posted on the CHARM website to keep your informed about the changes made to the original themes submitted to the Museum.

The exhibition is starting to take shape, the our original submission has been refined and streamlined to focus on pertinent, unique and common issues within our community. This has been done after careful consultation with the Immigration Museum and feedback provided at previous consultation sessions, some of the themes they would like to see us focus on for a successful and interesting may be to some extent “controversial”.

We absolutely believe everyone should be given an opportunity to have their say and input before the detailed research and writing starts.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions we would like to hear from you by the 20th December 2005

Please spread the word, pass on this message to your family and friends.

CHARM at RSCV Fancy Fair

Representatives of CHARM will attend the Rodriguan Social Club of Victoria Fancy Fair on Sunday 11 December 2005 at Gaelic Park Hall for the following purposes:

* film and take some photos of community members in their best element
* quietly and discretely distribute fliers, update re Immigration Museum Project
* have short interviews (brief temoignages) of those interested to share their stories
* have brief temoignages of young people about culture and its preservation

CHARM will donate two entry tickets to the Immigration Museum. A draw will be held on the day.

You are also cordially invited to attend

A photo/interview session on SATURDAY 17 DEC 2005 between 3 pm - 4.30 PM

Location: Mauritian Golden Age Club (Menzies Hall) Menzies Avenue, Dandenong

Continue to make a difference...

Be a part of History

Be part of your community project!

Free Tea, Coffee and Biscuits provided

Please call us to book your interview/temoignage time slot

We appreciate many of you have commitments to attend to, so if you cannot join us on that day we would still like to hear from you to discuss a more convenient time and place!

For more Information


Email: secretary@charm.org.au

In the next few weeks, C.H.A.R.M in collaboration with the people of Mauritius , Rodrigues and Seychelles (an invitation has been extended for the Seychellois to join us in this effort) will embark on a once in a lifetime journey to prepare for this long awaited community project at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne . At this point we do not have precise information about the exhibition as we are waiting to meet with them to finalise details, this will happen in July, the date is to be confirmed. This project will need to be carefully planned and cannot achieve its aims without your support.

We will keep the community posted at all times and will you will be invited to consultation sessions to have your say.

However, in the mean time if you can assist or know a family member or a friend can provide any of the below mentioned items or play an active role in this project, we would be delighted to hear and meet with you to discuss how you can positively contribute to this exciting project. Some of the things we may need are:


Photographs capturing historical moments can include Independence Day celebrations, mass migration departure to Australia from Port-Louis, people boarding the tug boats with their belongings to join the ship such as Frederika, Patris and others, boarding the planes, family photos, life in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Seychelles and life here in Australia for the newly arrived migrants.


Can include costumes and embroidery: Traditional folkloric dance costumes including costumes that encompass our diverse identity.


Shipping lists, tickets, boarding passes, British, Mauritian, Seychelles passports, testimonials, and oral histories


Mauritian, Rodriguan and Seychellois cultures depicted through painting and sculpture.


Ø Your stories and experiences

Ø Books about migration from these places of origin

Ø newspaper articles relevant to the exhibition theme

Ø old suitcases, crates used by you for your journey across

Ø home movies about family life, social, sporting and cultural events

Ø community achievers making major contribution to the Victorian community

Ø mementos that were taken on the journey to remind us of home


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