Earlier this month, I had the honour of addressing the Richlands, Inala and Suburbs History Group at the Inala Library. I was tasked with introducing the Camp Columbia Heritage Association (CCHA) to the history group and sharing insights into the Australian, American, and Dutch history of Camp Columbia. Additionally, I explored its connection to the broader military and policing history, which is integral to the Inala and Richlands regions.
During my presentation, I seized the opportunity not only to recount the history of the Camp Columbia headquarters, now the site of the Brisbane Correctional Centre and the Pooh Corner Bushland Reserve but also to shed light on the various facilities that once occupied the areas now bustling with tens of thousands of residents. These neighbourhoods have sprung up around the remnants of these military facilities constructed after World War II.
Part of the Camp Columbia Heritage Association’s grander vision is to narrate the extensive story of World War II facilities in Brisbane—a mission that the Brisbane City Council is eager to support.
On behalf of CCHA, I extended an invitation to the Richlands, Inala, and Suburbs History Group, urging them to become supporters of our cause. Given their shared interest in history, I also encouraged their members to keep an eye out for remnants of this bygone era. Perhaps there are still Nissan huts and barrack huts, originally sold after WWII and now repurposed in the area, with untold stories to unveil. Notably, there are several Nissan huts in the local industrial areas—do these structures hold narratives waiting to be uncovered?
Furthermore, the history of the Wacol Migration Centre holds great significance for us, and any stories from that period would be highly welcome. The Society’s assistance in locating and researching these historical accounts would be immensely appreciated.
At the conclusion of my presentation, I was pleasantly surprised when Angela Naumann, the President of the History Group, presented me with copies of books and photographs related to Camp Columbia. These invaluable contributions will become part of our growing collection of literature and artifacts, which will eventually find a home in the museum we aspire to establish in the long term. Abstracts from these materials will be featured on our website to make them more accessible to a wider audience.
I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Richlands, Inala, and Suburbs History Group for their support and for generously sharing these priceless materials. Your interest in our work is instrumental in preserving and sharing this important facet of history.
President, Camp Columbia Heritage Association (CCHA)