Andrew Jankus

Andrew Jankus

It’s 1947 and Immigration Minister Arthur Calwell is under fire. Facing stinging criticism for allowing the ‘wrong stock’ into Australia he comes up with an ingenious plan. He will bring two shiploads of young, attractive, healthy white immigrants from war torn Europe. They will be known as the ‘Beautiful Balts’. Andrew Jankus was aboard the first ship load of ‘Balts’ to arrive in Australia.

More than 60 years on, he tells the story for the first time of how the whole arrival was choreographed for the waiting media. Andrew like all his shipmates, was a pawn in a propaganda war to sell non-British migration to a sceptical or even hostile Australian public. His experiences as a ‘wog’ in a new land are both comic and shocking.

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Interactive

Explore the stories and lives of dozens of remarkable immigrants -- and their descendants -- in this immersive interactive documentary about the building of multicultural Australia.