Book explores Caribbean migration to Victoria

The fascinating history of Caribbean (West Indian) migration to Victoria is depicted in a collection of short stories Adding Pimento: Caribbean Migration to Victoria, Australia, a collaboration between Victoria University and The Caribbean Association of Victoria (CaribVic).

The 30 personal stories, written by or about members of Victoria’s Caribbean community, reveal how migrants since the 1960s have chosen to either maintain or distance their links to the Caribbean, as well as their experiences and perceptions of settling into their new home.

Adding Pimento also documents Caribbean migration to Victoria from the 1830s in a historical overview, and explores various aspects of Australia’s history such as the White Australia Policy. At the same time, it unveils surprising insights such as the fact that Thomas ‘Tommy’ Banks – Fitzroy Football Club captain in the late 19th century – had Caribbean heritage.

The book’s title, Adding Pimento, alludes to the berry (also known as allspice) or the mild Pimento pepper that gives Caribbean food its distinctive, pungent flavour. In this context, the Caribbean people and their stories of migration have added another layer to multicultural Victoria since the early 1800s.

The book was edited by VU’s Dr Karina Smith, a Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts, CaribVic’s Pat Thomas and copywriter Lisa Montague.

It is published by Melbourne‐based Breakdown Press and will be available for purchase from December at Readings Carlton and Brunswick Bound or from CaribVic's website.

Read more from Dr Smith about Caribbean migration to Australia in The Conversation.

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