About Spirit of Enterprise
The Enterprise Migrant Hostel in Springvale provided accommodation and comprehensive settlement services to more than 30,000 migrants and refugees from all over the world between 1970-1992. In 2007, a group of people came together to document the history of the Enterprise Migrant Hostel for an exhibition at the Melbourne Immigration Museum. This exhibition is available for viewing here.
Today, the Enterprise Migrant Hostel project is referred to as The Spirit of Enterprise as it has become obvious it is more than just an exhibition of a particular time in history. Rather it demonstrates how strong, cohesive, vibrant communities can be built when migrants and refugees are warmly welcomed through unique, innovative settlement programs based on welcome, support and respect. Hence the Spirit of Enterprise has become recognised as a project of National Significance.
Spirit of Enterprise Project Dates
November 2008 - Enterprise Exhibition @ Immigration Museum: The Enterprise Migrant Hostel exhibition A worthwhile Enterprise: the Migrant Hostel in Springvale opened at the Melbourne Immigration Museum. Read More >>
April 2009 - Enterprise Exhibition @ Springvale Historical Society : The exhibition at Springvale was transferred to the Springvale Historical Society on the 23rd April 2009 for a period of 3 months. Read More >>
February 2010 - Enterprise Website Launch: Using material from the exhibition, a comprehensive website (www.enterprisehostel.org) was created and launched. Read More >>
June 2011 - Enterprise Community Consultation: In response to community interest for a permanent and public acknowledgement of Enterprise, funding was sought to consult the community about how this could be done. In June 2011, a grant was received from the Department of Planning and Community Development which was used to produce an Enterprise I'm Home report. Read More >>
April 2012 - The Enterprise Rose: The Enterprise Rose was officially launched at a function generously hosted by Lexington Gardens Retirement Village on 1 April, 2012 by the Hon Simon Crean, Federal member for Hotham and Minister for Local Government and Jose Alvarez, the Victorian State Director of Immigration. It was at this function the Enterprise project was recognised as a project of National Significance and became The Spirit of Enterprise. Read More >>
December 2012 - Enterprise Tribute Garden: A Tribute Garden with 200 rose bushes, a large digiglass sculpture and a commemorative seat was designed and funded by generous contributions from community organisations, former residents and workers with matching funding from The Victorian State Government. It was officially opened by the Hon Nick Kotsiras, State Minister for Multiculturalism and the City of Greater Dandenong Mayor, Cr. Angela Long on 9 December, 2012. Read More >>
2013 - Trail of Significant Sites: A ‘trail’ of public art, taking in locations which were significant to the settlement of migrants and refugees in Springvale is currently being developed. Read More >>
A Project of National Significance
Many distinguished Australians, including former Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser have commented that the Enterprise History Project is one of ‘National Significance’. Clearly, the Enterprise experience is one that belongs to and should be shared with, all Australians. The Enterprise ‘model’ of settlement has been the inspiration for a wide range of services and programs, contributing significantly to Australia’s evolution as a particularly successful multicultural society, based on welcome, support and respect. It is important that this heritage be remembered for the possibilities it offers to nation building, as the Enterprise experience has clearly demonstrated.
The late Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia 1975 – 1983, has said:
‘I am delighted to support the Springvale Migrant Hostel Enterprise Project. The community should be very, very strongly congratulated for what they have done already and for what they have achieved. And I hope this project gets maximum support. It shows quite clearly what happens when new migrants to this country are welcomed with open arms, brought into the community made part of the community. They add to its diversity, diversity becomes strength and something that enriches all our lives. I wish the project well and hope it gains a great deal of support.’