Welcome. 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 resident families of the former Benalla Migrant Camp in October 2012. Our aim was to collect and tell the stories, before they were lost forever.
On Australia Day 2013 we opened an exhibition in Hut 11 (an original migrant camp accommodation hut) on the former migrant camp site – now the Benalla Airport precinct. The exhibition had 1,500 visitors in five open days, which was considered an amazing success for a town the size of Benalla. We felt we could not stop there, and just pack everything away.
Many people are still surprised to hear that there was a migrant camp in Benalla, and even more so that 60,000 people lived at the camp throughout its 18 year history. 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 are just in time to collect this history, which is such an important part of Benalla.
Former residents can connect to us via our Facebook Page, and we look forward to welcoming you at Hut 11 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.
Come visit us and see what it is all about
Benalla Migrant Camp Inc. was formed in April 2013 in order to keep the exhibition open and to progress with the gathering of historical material from former residents. Also importantly, we began to try and seek protection of the site through a State Heritage listing. This was complicated by the fact, that the site did not even have local heritage overlays at that time. We were successful with our fight for State Heritage Protection, but we were ultimately unsuccessful with securing a suitable permanent location for an exhibition, on the former camp site.
Whilst the exhibition was closed (due to Covid 2019-2021), we had the chance to develop this on-line archive and exhibition as an added resource and we hope it provides you with the information and resources you are looking for.
We ask historians, the media and other bodies to respect that the stories and images on this website are our intellectual property and that we have copyright, and we ask of you to seek our permission before using any of the materials to it. Any image or text copied from this page should CLEARLY be attributed to us, the Benalla Migrant CAmp Exhibition, at any time it is used.
Project Key Successes 2014-2019