Camp Columbia Heritage Association Inc. (CCHA)

The aim of the Association is to preserve the history of this important heritage site and tell its story. The site is situated in SW. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It will do so in collaboration, and with assistance of many volunteers and our partners (or supporters) namely the Brisbane City Council, University of Queensland, Pooh Corner Environment Centre, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A short overview of why the site is considered of historical significance:

  1. A border police station was established in 1842, starting a long history of law enforcement in Queensland on this site.
  2. In 1942 the Sixth US Army headquarters were formed and stationed on this site. They named it “Camp Columbia”. Here they established a camp with an extensive infrastructure, including an officers school, hospitals, sewerage plants and housing for its personnel. This was the main Allied Staging Camp for the war in the South Pacific during WWII.
  3. In 1944 the site was taken over by the Netherlands East Indies Government-in-Exile. This was the first time that a foreign government was hosted on Australian soil. There was close co-operation between the Australian and Dutch transport squadrons. They looked after all transport, between Australia and the Dutch East Indies, from food and medicines to ex-prisoners from Japanese internment camps. The last Dutch transport plane left Archerfield airport in September 1947.
  4. After World War II, parts of Camp Columbia were used by the Australian military and then served as a migrant reception and training centre. Other parts are now occupied by the Brisbane Correctional Centre.
  5. The site of the Camp earmarked for the Heritage Park is the publicly accessible Pooh Corner Environmental Reserve.

A comprehensive and detailed description of all stages of the site’s history can be found on the website (under construction).

In summary, over the next five years, the aim of CCHA is as follows:

  • Have the site Heritage listed (process has been set in motion)
  • Preserve and catalogue the last remaining elements of Camp Columbia as well as the artifacts found on site.
  • Improve accessibility for visitors to the historic remnants of the Camp.
  • Have a visual display on the site.
  • Make the historical significance of the site more widely known to the general public.

The CCHA Board consist of Paul Budde (Chair): Historian Jorien van Beukering (Secretary), Ed Parker Coordinator Pooh Corner Environmental Centre (treasurer) and Professor Ian Lilley University of Queensland (advisor) and Bart Lommerse (Dutch Community). 

Paul Budde
Chair CCH

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