Benalla Migrant Camp 1949-1967

The stories, the memories, the history.

About This Website

This website is one of several initiatives by Benalla Migrant Camp Inc. We are a volunteer community project which began to gather the photos and stories of former resident families of the Benalla Migrant Camp 1949-1967 in October 2012. Our aim was to collect and tell the stories, before they were lost forever.

Many people are surprised to hear that there was a migrant camp in Benalla. With decades having passed since the camp closed, people who were children in the camp are now in their sixties and seventies. Most left Benalla when they left the camp. We felt that we were just in time to collect this history, which is such an important part of Benalla.

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Benalla Migrant Camp Overview

The Benalla Migrant Camp was in operation from September 1949 until it closed on 8th December 1967.

The former military base at Benalla Airport housed approximately 60,000 European post WW2 migrants from 1949 and 1967. Its 18 years of operation made it one of the longest lasting Australian Migrant Centres. The Benalla camp functioned as a holding centre for Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre near Wodonga. Bonegilla was the original destination point for any non-British New Australian arriving in Australia as part of the Assisted Migration Scheme.

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Migrant Families


Browse the Indexes

Explore the rich and varied history of Benalla Migrant Camp's families. The records are accompanied by photographs, Bonegilla cards and stories.

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Pupil Register


Camp School Pupil Register

The Camp school was a vital institution that provided the camp's children with a place to learn the language of their new home and the skills to help them flourish.

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Migrant Stories


Migrant Family Stories

The stories of the camp families take us inside the journeys made, the experiences and the life inside Benalla Migrant Camp from the 50s &60s.

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