Wacol Migrant Centre

In the immediate post-War World years, refugees from war-torn Europe were resettled in different places across Australia. By 1949, it is estimated that one-tenth of the American/Dutch/Australian Army’s Camp Columbia area was acquired by the Department of Immigration and became the Wacol East Dependant Holding Camp for Displaced Persons. This was situated on the north side of Ipswich Road and the the military barracks were used to house migrants from Europe.

In the early 1950s the camp was developed to become the Wacol Migrant Centre, the biggest in Queensland. In 1952, the 1600 capacity of the camp was exceeded, reaching close to 2000.

By the 1980s the converted timber Army huts were aging and a different model for receiving immigrants was evolving. The Wacol Migrant Centre and the disused Willie Mackenzie Hostel were closed in 1987. The Prisons Department took over the site and the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre was opened in 1992.

Many Dutch people were among the post-war migrants.

Within the Camp Columbia Heritage Precinct are also the remnants of buildings that were used by the migrants

See also:

After the war Camp Columbia was opened for refugees and migrants

Last remaining hut of the military barracks at Camp Columbia

Wacol Migrant Centre Remembered 1949-1987

Return to Camp Columbia Heritage Park, Wacol, Brisbane TOC

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