November 21, 2018

For Estonian refugees, a masthead made a new home, half a world away – by Silvi Vann-Wall

Estonians fleeing the aftermath of WWII and Soviet occupation found their voice in Australia via a newspaper. It continues to this day.  Silvi Vann-Wall reports on Meie Kodu and the community it continues to serve.


‘ESTONIA REGAINS INDEPENDENCE’, Meie Kodu, Vol. 43 Issue 29, 21 August 1991. Source: ESTER digital archives.

In the tumultuous time after World War II, and throughout the Soviet occupation of their tiny country, many Estonians sought refuge in Australia – which for them held the promise of being as far away from the conflict zone as possible.

As war refugees, Estonians were required to live in migrant camps such as those in Bathurst or Bonegilla, before being given jobs and a chance at integration into Australian society.

Meanwhile, a small committee, formed by the Sydney Estonian Society, were hard at work acquiring authorisation to publish the first Estonian newspaper in Australia: Meie Kodu.

Read the entire article here: For Estonian refugees, a masthead made a new home, half a world away

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  • Ülle Slamer

    January 6, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    My mother, Hilja Lipping, (she was also an editor of Meie Kodu for 4 years after Axel Valgmas death.) remembers, as having just arrived at Bathurst Camp August 1949, a ” paper boy”, Paul Kimmel, ran from barrack to barrack with the first, fresh Meie Kodu! she wrote , it made the newcomers to this upside-down land immediately feel a little bit more at home.

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