Bohdan Teaches Year 6 Classes About Migration

Bohdan Warchomij (centre) with his family

Year 6 HASS and English students are studying migration and migration stories. As part of these studies, students met Bohdan Warchomij this week. Bohdan is a photo-journalist and immigrant who joined our students to share the Warchomij family’s story of migration to Australia post-WWII. 

At the age of three, Bohdan and his younger sister, Maria, travelled from Germany to Australia with their parents Mychajlo and Tekla. The Ukrainian family spent time in a German displaced person’s camp after the war before migrating to Australia in 1949. Their intentions to settle in Melbourne were abandoned when Maria passed away after contracting measles on passage to Australia and was buried in Perth. 

Bohdan as a young child

After a significant time living in hostel-style and tent accommodation, Mychajlo and Tekla eventually purchased land in Morley and built a home there, where Bohdan still lives today. The Warchomij family welcomed three more children in the 1950s and contributed to the Ukrainian community here in Perth. 

Bohdan shared his experiences with the students as a young Ukrainian living in Australia. He also talked about his path to higher education and eventually his career as a photo-journalist.

Bohdan has returned to Ukraine on many occasions, documenting significant events with his photography. He has donated a copy of his book ‘Portrait of a Revolution’ to the Santa Maria College library. It documents the rigged 2004 Ukrainian Presidential Elections.

Bohdan is the uncle of past student (Class of 2001) and Year 6 teacher, Kate Warchomij.

Bohdan Warchomij, his neice and Year 6 teacher Kate Warchomij with Year 6 students

Here’s what some of the girls had to say:

Bohdan told interesting stories about his photography and going back to Ukraine. Being so young when his family moved here, he didn’t know what was happening at the time, but he was glad to have had a life here in Australia and still be able to go back and learn about where his family came from. Isabel Taranto

It was really great learning about someone and how their migration story came about. His stories about Ukraine especially were interesting to hear because it’s so different and it made me really grateful for what we have here in Australia. Samara Edwards

Bohdan told his family’s story with great interest and excitement. I learnt that migration isn’t as easy a process as it seems to get from one end of the earth to another. It was interesting to hear about the contagious illnesses people could get quite easily then, which is how his sister died. Scarlett Ceniviva

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