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(Mitchell Librarian 1993-2001, Associate Director State Records NSW 2001-2008 and Director State Records NSW 2008-2012) Migrants probably outnumbered Australians by about five to one on the camp where I worked. There were Yugoslavs, Germans, Italians, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and the odd Frenchman. At the time it seemed odd to me that there were very few Aborigines employed even though there seemed to be many of them hanging around in the streets in Roebourne. Many of the Australians in the camp were from Melbourne and at that time seemed to talk in rhyming slang which amused me greatly even though much of it was politically incorrect by today’s standards: for example Italians were called plastics because plastic bag rhymed with spag which meant spaghetti which in turn meant Italian - all very convoluted but amusing to listen to. Also a Port Melbourne was a beer - as beer rhymes with Port Melbourne Pier!! Keeping the peace between various groups was part of my work as a security officer and I recall a fight one day between a Croatian and a Serbian, who both turned on me when I confronted them. Needless to say they were sacked and paid off on the spot.

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