Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre
The Migrant Experience 1947 - 1971
The first migrants arrived at the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre in the Wodonga district in December 1947. They came to Australia under the Post War Immigration Scheme.
During the twenty four years Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre was open, 320,000 people passed through it's gates. Each of them has a special story to tell.
The experiences of Bonegilla migrants span the range of human emotions. People often talk of the isolation, fear, discomfort and broken promises but they also remember the warmth of the people they met, the friendships they developed and the opportunities that became theirs.
The first migrants were Displaced Persons or DP's whose lives had been disrupted by the horrors of World War II. Later migrants were attracted to Australia by advertisements displayed in Europe. Bonegilla was a staging camp - temporary accommodation - for new migrants who had exchanged free or assisted passage to Australia for two years of labour at the Australian Governments choice. After this service, migrants were free to make their own way.
Bonegilla was the largest reception centre in Australia. People came from 41 different ethnic groups. Conditions at Bonegilla were basic with accommodation being in fibro and corrugated iron huts. The food was also basic and, while unfamiliar to many migrants, was typical of Australian food at the time.
The Albury LibraryMuseum stocks a range of publications and items relating to Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre.
View more images of the AlburyCity Collection of the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre here.
For more information please visit The Bonegilla Story