Many early Greek Australians had passed through immigration centres like Bonegilla which was situated around 300 kilometres north-east of Melbourne.
Bonegilla was originally an army training camp but in 1947 the Australian Government turned it into a Reception and Processing Centre run by the Department of Immigration.
Albury Wodonga is receiving a cultural tourism boost, with works advancing on the Bonegilla Migrant Experience to allow more visitors to connect with Australia’s fascinating migrant history.
Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre to see redevelopment works at this nationally-significant destination, which has received a grant of $800,000 through the Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round.
“We are proud to be funding a project of national significance that will allow future generations to learn about the history of the Bonegilla Migrant Centre and our nation’s migrant heritage, while creating more jobs in the region,” she said.
READ MORE: The Greek refugee village at Bonegilla
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said, “The people who went through Bonegilla shaped our history and culture as Victorians. This project is so important in recognising their impact, their struggles and their ultimate hope for a better life.”
The Government-funded Bonegilla Identity Project will see the digitisation of a series of Bonegilla ID cards, part of 225,669 individual Bonegilla records and items held by the National Archives Australia.
The upgrade will ensure the preservation of records for migrants who passed through Bonegilla after World War II. The project will also provide families, visitors, historians and students with access to this important piece of Australia’s history.
Funding will also contribute to the design and installation of a permanent interactive exhibition, which will provide a curated interpretation of Australia’s post-war migration story. The Bonegilla Identity Project is expected to draw thousands of visitors to a destination that already welcomes more than 11,500 visitors annually. The $46 million Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round forms part of the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan, which is underpinned by an investment of $633 million. For more information on the Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round and the Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan visit djpr.vic.gov.au.