Benalla Migrant Camp public history text. Preserving and promoting Post WWII migrant history in rural Victoria.
The Benalla Migrant Camp, formally known as the Benalla Holding Centre and the Benalla Migrant Accommodation Centre, was one of 23 similar camps established by the Australian government to provide temporary housing for non-British new arrivals in post-World War II Australia. The Camp occupied the former(RAAF) No.11 Elementary Flying Training School (1941-1944), adjacent to a small aerodrome on the outskirts of Benalla in north east Victoria. Opening in 1949, the Benalla Migrant Camp was a modest-sized holding centre, accommodating 200 – 400 people. It survived national reviews of migrant accommodation needs in 1953 and 1959, but by 1967, the number of residents had diminished sufficiently for the Camp to close. By that time, over 60,000 people — mainly of Polish, Latvian and German origins, as well as other nationalities — had been accommodated there.
The text and images written and created for this project were also translated in a Wikipedia page.
It was rewarding to write this text on the basis of research carried out by Dr Bruce Penny, which helps bring important information about Australia’s post-WWII migrant history available to the wider world.