Bonegilla Migrant Experience

This project involved writing the ‘life station’ text (museum display/iPad text), recounting the life of Russian-born migrant Galina Vasins (Karciauskas), who came to Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre as a Displaced Person in 1947. Galina’s is an extraordinary story of survival and family reunion against the odds.


Galina_VasinsIt was a genuine honour to piece together and recount the extraordinary life story of a Russian-born migrant, Galina Vasins, who as a child and young teen survived the siege of Leningrad in 1941, concentration camp in Latvia, and fleeing the Red Army to American-occupied Germany in 1945, before arriving in Bonegilla in 1947. Galina lost contact with her family after leaving Riga in Latvia at the end of World War II, and was only reunited with her surviving three sisters in 1991. This was one of the most inspiring jobs I’ve done as a historian. If you’d like to know more about Galina Vasin’s experience in the first transport of Displaced Persons coming to Post War Australia, please visit the Bonegilla Migrant Experience