Guide to the Papers of Karl McPhee [MSS 077]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Karl McPhee
Manuscript Number MSS 077
Last Updated June 2022
Extent 18 AV boxes
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Original audio recordings created during the production of the documentary series The Migrant Experience (Karl McPhee & Ben Lewin, Australia, 1985)

Collection Subject Type


Scope and Content

This collection consists of 398 quarter inch reel to reel audio tapes of interviews conducted during the making of The Migrant Experience (also known as ‘Destination Australia: The Migrant Experience Since 1788’), a six part documentary series produced by creators Karl McPhee, Ben Lewin, the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs and Film Australia. These interviews, conducted with individuals connected with the post Second World War migration programme, consist of accounts of why individuals migrated, why Australia was chosen, the work of immigrants and their adaptation to life in Australia. For full list of possible interviewees see the foot of this finding aid.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Screenwriter and director, Karl McPhee began his career with a degree in philosophy at the University of New England in 1964. After a short transition into teaching, he began producing educational radio and television programs for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). From 1974, he would spend almost twenty years writing and directing government commissioned documentaries and short dramas for Film Australia (Screen Australia). Karl McPhee has since taught film and television to communication students at several universities in addition to continuing to create screen projects with his company McPhee Productions.


Administrative Information

Access and Copying Conditions

Access: Check with Curator

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: Check with Curator

Preferred Citation

Papers of Karl McPhee, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra, MSS 077, Box [Number], Folder [Number].

Additional Information

Related Material

Further material relating to Karl McPhee is located at the National Film and Sound Archive and the State Library of Western Australia.

A copy of the final published version of The Migrant Experience is held in the UNSW Canberra, Academy Library collection at Multi Media JV 9120 .M53 1984.


Subject Keywords


Karl McPhee – Archives

Immigrants – Australia - Interviews

Australia – Emigration and immigration – History

Reconstruction (1939-1951) – Australia

Documentary films – Australia

Personal Names

Karl McPhee

Ben Lewin, 1946-

Corporate Names

Film Australia

Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs


Film producers and directors



Container List

AV Box 1

Audio cassette tapes 1 – 22

AV Box 2

Audio cassette tapes 23 – 44

AV Box 3

Audio cassette tapes 45 – 66

AV Box 4

Audio cassette tapes 67 – 82

AV Box 5

Audio cassette tapes 83 –103

AV Box 6

Audio cassette tapes 104 – 125

AV Box 7

Audio cassette tapes 126 – 145

AV Box 8

Audio cassette tapes 146 – 167

AV Box 9

Audio cassette tapes 168 – 187

AV Box 10

Audio cassette tapes 188 – 212

AV Box 11

Audio cassette tapes 213 – 233

AV Box 12

Audio cassette tapes 234 – 251

AV Box 13

Audio cassette tapes 252 – 273

AV Box 14

Audio cassette tapes 274 – 296

AV Box 15

Audio cassette tapes 297 – 325

AV Box 16

Audio cassette tapes 326 – 347

AV Box 17

Audio cassette tapes 348 – 369

AV Box 18

Audio cassette tapes 370 - 398


Film participants/interviewees may include:

Rhys Jones, Eric Willmot, Patsy Adam-Smith, Frank Cusack, Dennis O'Hoy, Rev Stan Allen, John Bluthal, Doris Liffman, Herbert Liffman, Brian Murray, Arthur Calwell, Fred Daly, George Kiddle, Sir Billy Snedden, Harold Grant, Giovanni Sgro, Robert Richter, Sam Levin, Vivi Koutsanadis, Athol Townley, Sir Hubert Opperman, Al Grassby, Greg Humphries, Nga To, Reuben Wheeler, Wayne Gibbons, Kien Quach, Robert Manne, Bruce Ruxton, Dr Frank Knopfelmacher, Nick Gekas, Eric Bogle, Charles 'Spike' Routley, Clare Dunne, Ian Harmstorf, Dr Roger Keesing, Phillip Adams, John Zigouras, Egon F. Kunz, George Kakanis, Nick Malaxos, Theo Coumbis, Despina Taylor, John Schiffer, Tom Stratton, David Taylor, David Page, Bertram Wainer, Alex Skutenka, Dennis Turner, Peter Nguyen, Tom See Poy, Herbert See Poy, Herbert 'Junior' See Poy, Carmen Tapiolas, Ethel Hayton, Gino Paris, Roy Fitzgerald, Brian Luscombe, Pauline Justin, Bob Armstrong, Tony Bonnici, Frank Galbally, Nick Polites, Paula Masselos, Maria Petrohilos, Ben Schiller, Carl Roenfeldt, Alan Matheson, Noel Fatnowna, Frank Casalegno, John Casalegno, Ross Cali, Steve Comas, Prof Charles Price, Charles D'Aprano, Prof Bill Ford, Maria Posas, Dr Spiro Moraitis, Steve Duricic, Carlo Zaccariotto, Theo Kefalis, Giovanni Spada, Peter Hilton, Andrew Mason, Pam Mason, Giovanni Cannavo, Rosetta Sung, Rosemary Brondolino, Antoinette Charras, Iacomini family, Ann Richter, Wafa Stephan, Zaydan family, Gracie Cannavo, Ben Chifley, Rosa Colosimo, Eric Wilmot, Susan Ivemey, Dinny O'Hearn, Herbert Lifman, Doris Lifman, George Donikian, David Trembath, Ian MacPhee, Tony Trobbiani, Noel Landells, Ethel Marr, Mark McCamangas, Sevel Fouad.