Adding Pimento

Caribbean Migration to Victoria, Australia

‘This collection has to be seen as a breakthrough in our larger understandings of the meanings of migration, community, globalisation, transnational identities’
–  Professor Carole Boyce Davies, author of Caribbean Spaces.


Adding Pimento reveals the relatively unknown and fascinating history of Caribbean (or West Indian) migration to Victoria; a vibrant, diverse community made up of people from different countries, cultures, ethnicities, and racial backgrounds. A collection of thirty personal stories from and about community members, the book delves into experiences of migration and the choice of Victoria as a home (far) away from home.

From a Caribbean migration perspective, Adding Pimento explores various aspects of our national and state history, including the Eureka Stockade in Ballarat and the White Australia Policy. The stories reveal how migrants either maintain links to the Caribbean or choose to distance themselves from it; perceptions of Victoria as a new ‘home’ and experiences of ‘settling in’, political upheaval, loss, racism; and the importance of community, resilience, and ‘the taking of space’ in the wider society.

Adding Pimento alludes to the berry (also known as allspice) or the mild Pimento pepper which is added to Caribbean cuisine for a distinctive, pungent flavour.  The leaf and the wood are used in the smoking process for enhancement to the famous barbeque jerk dishes.  In this context, the Caribbean people and their stories of migration have added another layer to multicultural Victoria since the early 1800s.

Read the Media Release

Published December 2004