With immigration being the talk of the world right now, many people from around the world move to other countries for better money, better security, and a better life in general. Immigration allows disadvantaged people to move from their country to a first-world country, which is sold to people as a paradise that could be the answer to their lifelong question of wanting a better lifestyle. Ten Pound Poms, created by Danny Brocklehurst, is a historical fiction drama that talks about many Europeans who moved away to Australia in the hope of finding a life away from the aftermath of the Second World War. Will they find the paradise they are looking for?
The Big Voyage
Ten Pound Poms begins with Terry Roberts getting out of a pub drunk and tripping on the sidewalk of a road leading to his home. Terry is a war veteran, and he lives in the UK with his wife Annie and children Pattie and Pete. Annie is told about the man lying unconscious and hurt. Annie is concerned about Terry’s frequent drinking habits, and he ends up reaching home drunk. She is done with this life he is leading here, and she knows if they continue living in the UK, there will be no change in her husband’s habits. All his hard-earned money is fizzled away on drinking and gambling, and she would want an end to what has become a routine. She comes across an advertisement for Australian migration where Britishers could move to another English-speaking land that is on the other side of the world, now a relative paradise, and the expense of the entire trip to Australia would be 10 pounds. Intrigued by the reasonable rates mentioned in the advertisement, Annie convinces her husband and her children to move to Australia to start their lives all over again. A change of place would be good for everyone, and it would be a fresh start for Terry, most importantly.
Kate, who is a nurse by profession, plans to move to Australia as well, along with her fiancé Henry. But on reaching Australia, Kate is alone, and she lets the immigration officials know that her fiancée changed his mind and she decided to move out with or without him. The Roberts family passes through immigration without much hassle, but they notice a Japanese family is not allowed to get through because they are not white. Annie and Terry are slightly disturbed to see that because Terry is back from a war that was waged to defeat Nazi Germany, a regime characterized by its rampant discrimination based on the race of the people. Terry, Annie, and Kate are taken to a camp where they are allotted one home per family. Annie and the kids are shocked to see such small homes being given to them.
The advertisement misled them, and now that they are here, they better not have any plans to go back to the UK because they sold everything they had for the life they are about to start here in Australia. Annie bore the biggest shock because she was the one who insisted and convinced everyone to go ahead with the big move to another country. Their daughter Pattie had been severely affected by the move because she was in school in the UK, and she also had a boyfriend who she was forced to break up with. Slowly and steadily, they try to settle down as Terry is assigned the job of digging ditches to lay down pipes for gas. Terry is not keen on taking up the job because of his qualifications and experience, but since it is a new start in a new country, he takes it up as a challenge. Meanwhile, Annie was not keen on taking up a full-time job, but under an interesting circumstance, she was offered a job at a premium clothing store in the role of a supervisor. Annie was the one who pushed her family to take the uncharted route and is now excited to take up a job she has no experience in.
Kate’s Search For Michael
Kate, a nurse by profession, had gotten pregnant while in the UK, and because she was a single mother, she had temporarily moved her kid to a Catholic orphanage, hoping she would get her child back to her once she was financially stable. But her plans go awry when the church plans to shift all the young kids from the orphanage to Australia. This is the reason Kate plans to move to Australia, hoping she can find her son, Michael, and bring him back with her to the UK now that she has the financial backing to support a child. Kate was initially planning to head out with her fiancé Henry, but on reaching Australia, she let the authorities know that Henry had changed his mind. It is obvious from her body language that something transpired between the two, and that’s why Kate traveled alone. She has set her mind on finding Michael, which would mean traveling across orphanages run by Christian missionaries in the hope of locating him. On one of her voyages, she is accompanied by Annie as well. Annie and Kate become close friends quickly over the shared experience of the voyage, and their experiences of the struggle of living in a new country are very similar. Their friendship becomes important for them during the rest of the stay. As a part of building bonds, Annie joins Kate to help her locate her only son, Michael, who she knows is somewhere in Australia. She is aware of the large geography of this country, and she is strong-willed and persistent enough to look for her son in this land.
Terry’s Work Woes
As Terry joins a worker with the rest of the crew to begin digging, he happens to be cornered by a bully-like figure named Dean, who happens to be the oldest member. Dean is mad about the fact that a job that could have been given to an Australian has been given to a pom, a term used by Australians for Britishers. Dean tries hard to disturb Terry, but Terry does not give up because he must keep the job no matter what, because he has promised his wife. Terry also confronts Dean, which leads to a fight between the two. The fight broke the ice between the two, and they soon became friends. As Terry and Dean get to know each other, Terry realizes Dean is a highly misogynistic, racist, and vile man. One night, after getting drunk, they head out for a drive, and their car hits an Aboriginal boy. Not wanting to deal with the “abos,” a racial slur directed at Aboriginals. Terry, though, wants to get the boy admitted to a local hospital, but Dean forces him to leave the scene, or they will be lynched by the Aboriginals. Terry has been suffering from massive PTSD since the war, and adding this incident where he is not sure if the boy made it alive or not triggers his PTSD more. Out of sheer guilt, Terry confesses to the police about this incident. This does not go well with Dean, who goes back to harassing Terry. Terry is ostracized by Dean and his other men as part of the crew. In that process, Terry becomes good friends with Ron, an Aboriginal. Terry finds a rare friendship in him and tries to understand the racist attitude towards Ron’s people, who happened to be the indigenous race of Australia until the whites took over. Terry understands that Dean would never learn and become aware that what he is doing is wrong. Terry lets it be and becomes fast friends with Ron. The unlikely friendship is something Terry and Ron cherish.
‘Ten Pound Poms’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Kate And Michael?
Annie begins her job with the store, and she is more than happy with the avenues that are open for her. The shop’s manager becomes her good friend and introduces her to plenty of influential friends from the television industry, which is a growing phenomenon in the country. The manager invites Annie and her husband to the launch of the television in Australia. Annie is excited, yet Terry is not comfortable being in the company of new people, and he makes it obvious. Annie is happy to have found a group she can be herself with. Terry, on the other hand, is worried he might lose Annie as a person because of her job. The couple has many disagreements over this, and it takes time for them to reach a consensus because this time around, Annie is not ready to settle as per what her husband wants. She loves her job, and she is keen on continuing to work with the same establishment. Terry’s complex arises from the fact that he was always used to seeing Annie, the homemaker. He had never seen this bold and confident Annie, which he initially had a problem with. He voices his concerns too, but Annie stands her ground and refuses to budge.
On the other hand, Annie and Terry’s daughter Pattie is selected for a prestigious school camp. The girl turns out to be an academic genius who has a bright future and prospects. Pattie is excited to be given this opportunity, but she is hiding a big secret from her family. Her relationship with the boy back in England led to her pregnancy. She is in her teens and is afraid to reveal this news to her parents, fearing rebuke and losing the opportunity to head to the school camp. Above all, she is afraid of the public shaming that would follow. The only person she knows who could help her is Kate because Kate has been through a similar ordeal. Pattie covers up her lie and asks for advice from Kate, mentioning that her friend is pregnant. Kate advises Pattie that her friend should speak to her mother. Pattie does as instructed and lets her parents know that she is pregnant. Annie is initially furious, for she believes Terry and Pattie are trying to ruin the life she is trying hard to rebuild in this new country. But soon, the situation calms down, and Annie decides to be a supportive mother. Annie’s being a supportive parent comes from within because she wants to be the kind of mother who would not abandon her child in times of dire circumstances. She would want to be there for her daughter before and after delivery.
Kate, on the other hand, comes across her child Michael when a local school brings their children to the hospital she is working with, and Michael is a part of that group. Kate is stunned to see her child living in the same city. She wants to speak to Michael, but she is not able to gather enough strength to do that. Kate takes it upon herself to gather as much information about Michael as possible at the cost of losing her job. Her colleague helps her, and she is grateful for his help so far. Kate is desperate to know more about Michael, and where he lives because, seeing him as a part of a prestigious school, she concludes his adoptive parents might be rich. She shadows his school bus and spends hours outside the home he lives in right now to understand his current standard of living.
Kate starts wondering if she can give Michael what his current parents are providing. This thought occurs to her because, as a mother, she would only want the best for her child. Shelter, good food, and a good education Michael is well fed and provided for, which makes her rethink her plan to bring Michael back to England. Kate meets Michael’s adoptive parents as a representative of the adoption agency in her bid to learn more about them. She finally realizes that Michael is indeed happy in this household. Michael also, sadly, does not remember anything about Kate or the fact that she is his biological mother. The boy is indifferent to her because, for Michael, she is a stranger. Kate’s fiancée, Henry, shows up in Australia in a bid to make amends with her. They have a heartfelt talk about Michael because she cannot seem to let him go so fast. It might be because she is a mother, and parting with her child comes across as a difficult task for her. Henry finally comes to understand her pain. That is because Henry concludes that getting to know Kate would come with getting to know her pain at losing her child. It will take time for the pain to heal, but he is ready to be a supportive partner.
Meanwhile, Annie’s daughter goes into labor, and Kate helps with shifting Pattie to the hospital, where she is working to make sure the delivery goes smoothly. Kate kind of takes up the role of a mother when Pattie is in extreme pain, so she can give the girl as much assistance as she can. Though the delivery was difficult, the baby and Pattie survived. Pattie gives birth to a girl, and everyone, including her parents and brother Pete, is happy to see them alive and doing well. Pattie is full of joy, and after witnessing that moment, Kate finally decides to go back to Henry, and maybe marry him eventually. However, we really don’t know if she meant those words, as her only motive was to steal the car’s keys so that she could meet Michael one last time.
Kate picks up Michael from school and has a one-on-one about their relationship. Michael remembers her as a woman from the adoption agency, but Kate reveals that she is his biological mother. Michael, being a young kid, is unable to process the revelation and asks Kate to drop him back at his home, where his adoptive parents live. Though heartbroken, Kate agrees and drives off with Michael in her van. It can be safely assumed that Kate will take Michael back to his adoptive parents. Kate probably just wanted to let her child know about his real mother, but Michael was too young to understand the situation. Hence, we can speculate that for the happiness of her child, Kate will probably let him be with the parents he wants to live with. Additionally, for her own happiness, it will be a better decision to move on and start a new family with Henry, somewhere else.
Ten Pound Poms ended with more people from England and around Europe landing in Australia for a better future and again being put in small houses at camps. Even though Annie, Terry, Kate, and many others moved to Australia with a goal in mind, there were many hardships they faced. Many of these issues can be considered first-world problems, yet so many people strive to achieve and want to do big things once they are in Australia. Families with children, men, and women land in Australia without knowing the kind of hardships they would have to face just to be able to begin living their lives right from scratch. It is not an ideal situation, but many are just willing to take it up for a better future in the land down under.