City of Wodonga


Bonegilla Migrant Centre celebrates 70 years

Everyone is welcome to join a community celebration for the 70th anniversary of the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre on Saturday, November 18.

The 70th celebration will feature live music from The Habibis, Gypsy Suitcase, Bohemian Nights, Diddly Eyes and Vardos, as well as mini-museum exhibitions, an author talk, Me and Bonegilla performances, and European style food.

The event will run from 11am to 4pm, with the official welcome by Cr Speedie to begin at 12 noon.

Guests will immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, flavours and surrounds of the centre 70 years after it was first established following World War II, when millions of people seeking a new start and peace, departed for Australia.

An army camp at Bonegilla was transformed into a migrant reception and training centre where new arrivals lived while they were processed and allocated jobs.

Wodonga Mayor Councillor Anna Speedie said Bonegilla became the largest and longest operating reception centre in the post-war era and said Wodonga Council was proud to support such an important national heritage site.

“Our community has a long association with the people of the Bonegilla Migrant Camp, and many former residents still live and work in Wodonga today, and have raised their families here,” Cr Speedie said.

“I greatly admire the courage and strength of the people who made the long journey to Bonegilla for a better life, and look forward to seeing many of them return to the region for the celebration next week.”

Last updated: 08-11-2017

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