Sunday, December 6, 2015

Benalla Migrant Camp : A Difficult Heritage by Dr Bruce Pennay

A great read ... AND a great gift for Christmas!!

You can buy the book in three places:

New copies will be available at the Benalla Visitor Information Centre from Monday December 14, for $25. Call the Visitor Information Centre on 03 57621749 to  reserve a copy or pop in during business hours.

Copies are NOW available from the Melbourne Immigration Museum Giftshop in Flinders Street.

You can also purchase copies at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Giftshop at Bonegilla from Monday December 14. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Books sell out during Benalla Festival

More copies of Benalla Migrant Camp: A Difficult Heritage will soon be available through the Visitor Information Centre in Mair Street, from the Immigration Museum Giftshop and also during exhibition open days.

Bruce presented us with a most fascinating summary of the findings of his 48 page book. The book is at this stage only available for sale at the exhibition as well as at the Benalla Visitor Information Centre.

An audience of about 80 people attended the launch.

Author Dr Bruce Pennay OAM was available for book signings after the launch.
John Joyce of NEMA (at left) also spoke before unveiling the Benalla Migrant Camp Historical Banner that their organisation sponsored.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Come to our exciting launch of our book next Friday November 6th

Benalla Migrant Camp History : A Difficult Heritage
Friday November 6th, 6-7.30 pm at the new Benalla Library, Entry by gold coin donation.

We are so very proud and happy to invite you to the launch of the first ever book about the history of the Benalla Migrant Camp by Dr Bruce Pennay of Charles Sturt University Albury. Bruce is an eminent historian on post war migration and Bonegilla in particular. When he agreed to take on this job of writing the history of Benalla Migrant Camp as a commissioned work from us, we were delighted and knew it would be good. It would also give us a much higher profile and assist us with obtaining State Heritage Protection.
Bruce embarked on extensive research involving the Canberra National Archives and the Melbourne Public Records Office and extensive literary reviews. The resulting work is a fantastic achievement for Benalla, and Bruce will take our history all over Australia in his lectures and presentations. Whilst the book uncovers a lot of the Australian political context in which the camp existed it also poses the question - why is the camp (previously) not publicly acknowledged? For people who stayed at the camp and their descendants, but also for Victorians and Benalla folk this is a fascinating read.

A short presentation by the author will be followed by questions, light refreshments and book sales.
Limited copies available at this stage, so be there. $25

Monday, October 19, 2015

Next Open Days during Benalla Festival

Come and see the newly refreshed exhibition on 
Saturday November 7 and Sunday November 8
OPEN both days, from 10 am - 3 pm.
Thanks to our local sponsors Consisto Holdings (Anne and Linsday Thomas),
as well as the Rotary Club of Benalla, we have finalised a
complete re-print and re-hang of all images. Lots of new pics 
have been added - and a slide show of the Bonegilla Cards,
found in the Canberra National Archives is also there. 
We will have for sale Dr Bruce Pennay's newly completed 
and just-launched book 'Benalla Migrant Camp: A Difficult Heritage'

Monday, August 3, 2015

Check this out, everyone.

Andy Donaldson of Truvista Videos recently put this short clip together for us.
You can download it from Vimeo - just search under Benalla Migrant Camp.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Welcome and thank you to Deb Randich!

It is a big job to keep the exhibition open and looking good, as well as organising our volunteer roster. I am delighted that Deb Randich has now taken on the volunteer coordination role. Deb's heritage is Maltese and she feels the exhibition touches on the difficulties her family encountered when settling in a new land. The migrant experience is universal.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about volunteering, please contact us. We can always do with more friendly faces to greet our visitors and we promise you, volunteering with us is fun.

Beverley Brown remembers good times as Camp Kindergarten Teacher

Beverley Brown nee Bourke points at herself on the photo which features prominently in our advertising. The photo shows Beverley walking across the kindergarten grounds holding hands with a row of migrant children in her care. Beverley said she loved the work and formed a close connection to the families whose offspring she looked after. "When I got married and left the job, I was showered with beautiful gifts." "Looking back today my years of work at the camp bring so many happy memories. I loved the job. Townsfolk would occasionally say "How can you do that sort of work, how can you put up with them (the migrant children). But I just loved the privilege of teaching them, they were a joy."

Introducing our 2015 Major Sponsors

Thannk you so much to Anne and Linsday Thomas whose donation means that we can finish reprinting all photos on archival paper, which will now last us up to 5 years. Behind us is a sample of newly updated photos, and you can see how fantastically crisp and clear they look.

We would also like to thank Rotary for their generous sponsorship, which took care of the first half of the exhibition reprints. A wonderful gesture towards commemorating Benalla's migrant past.

Our continued support by the Benalla Lakeside Craft and Farmers Market is also most appreciated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Our petition to place heritage protection on the BARC Huts achieves well over 1,000 signatures !!

When Helen Topor and her husband Peter Fullagar (from Canberra) visited the exhibition in April, Helen was horrified to find so much of the former camp buildings gone, and the huts that are left in such poor repair. 
When I told her that the huts were not heritage protected she kindly offered to help, and start a petition. Thank you Helen.
We reached a total of 1,028 signatures. 406 on-line and 622 as paper-based. Victorian signatures make up 649 and of those, Benalla has 391. 
The rest, 379 are interstate Australian signatures.
International signatures add up to 68.
Well done and thank you everyone.
The fight to save the huts continues.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Would you like to help make some entrance banners for our Exhibition?

Sabine Smyth with John Joyce
If you do, can you please contact the 
North East Multicultural Association (NEMA) , 
John Joyce or Tania Magennis 
on (03) 5721 2090?

We are looking for people who would be happy to spend a half day designing motifs and sewing them onto two colourful banners under the guidance of experienced 'banner makers'/tailors who will help out with advice and hands-on help. It should be fun. I will be there too and it will be great to see you.
No need to have any sewing experience although this would be great. 
All you need is some time to spare and some enthusiasm to pool your ideas with others.

Date: To be advised - will be worked out to suit you and others
Venue: Benalla Art Gallery
Lunch catering will be provided.
John Joyce and his team look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Exhibition Opening March 8 - Labour Day Weekend

The Sukys Family visited.

Sulev Matt.

We invested our door takings from Australia Day straight back into reprinting some of our photos - which had faded badly.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another good reason to come visit the exhibition on Australia Day

First of all, our exhibition at BARC Hut 11 is not open on the Australia Day Weekend.
Instead, once only,  Sunday 25th January and Monday 26th January we are in the old clothing factory, formerly named Latoof and Callil. It is located across from Benalla Hospital.

Well-known photographer Helga Leunig will be exhibiting there with us ...
Helga Leunig's wonderful book of photographs, 
with the title 'Mother Country' 
will be available in shops in April. 
The book is published by Five Mile Press 
and features a number of items from our exhibition, 
see below, The Polish Folk Costume, 
contributed by the Swist Family.

One of the small selection of beautiful photos that will be 
here on display.