Work camps and interstate hostels

Tens of thousands of people went through migrant hostels in South Australia. In addition to the government-run hostels there were a number of camps or work hostels run directly by organisations that employed large numbers of migrants. These included sites at Salisbury, Hendon, Springbank and those run by the South Australian Railways in Adelaide (North Terrace), Islington and Peterborough, the Engineering and Water Supply Department in Bedford Park and Leigh Creek, and the Woods and Forests Department in Mount Gambier, among others.

Research is ongoing, and definite numbers and locations of work camps are not yet known. Some appear to have operated along very similar lines to the sites that have been referred to here as migrant hostels. Many were even more transitory, or temporary, in nature, taking the form of tent cities, or utilising whatever buildings were available.

Nationally, there were many more sites used as temporary migrant accomodation. Well-known hostels interstate include Bonegilla in Victoria, Villawood in Sydney, Bathurst migrant camp in New South Wales, and the Graylands centre in Western Australia. 


I was a resident of 5 migrant camps -is there somewhere i can communicate with others on this subject -thanks tk.
Apologies for the delayed response Tad, we had a problem with our comment notification, now fixed. Apart from the comments here, the only other online forum I know of specifically for past residents of migrant hostels and camps is National Archives of Australia have recently put together an exhibition about migrant hostels nationally (we're SA focussed) which you can find information on here: they have an online forum for migrant experiences in general, called Destination Australia, which you can find from the link above.
HI there  - you have a wonderful museum. I am an original Bonegillian  - having lived in Bonegilla, the largest migrant camp in Australia's history, for the first 5 years of my life. Perhaps readers might be interested in a short clip about this place and a book I wrote about the place - 'To Bonegilla from Somewhere'. to all Bonegillians and camp residents everywhere,Wanda
Thanks Wanda,It's a very moving film, Bonegilla is obviously a very important place for you and many others.Catherine

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