Bonegilla, Victoria

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Sculpture at the migrant camp. Some of the buildings that once housed migrants can be seen in the background.
Bonegilla is located in City of Wodonga
Coordinates 36°08′S 147°00′E / 36.133°S 147.000°E / -36.133; 147.000Coordinates: 36°08′S 147°00′E / 36.133°S 147.000°E / -36.133; 147.000
Population 773 (2006)[1]
Postcode(s) 3691
LGA(s) City of Wodonga
Region Northeast Victoria
State electorate(s) Benambra
Federal Division(s) Indi

Bonegilla is a bounded rural locality of the City of Wodonga local government area in northeast Victoria, Australia, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Wodonga, and around 300 kilometres (190 mi) north-east of Melbourne. At the 2006 census, Bonegilla and surrounding area had a population of 773.[1]


Bonegilla Post Office opened on 20 August 1878 and closed in 1951.[2] Bonegilla Military office was open from 1940 to 1947 and from 1983 to 1998, of which it relocated to nearby Bandiana.

Much of the development of the town was due to the Cudgewa railway line which opened in 1889 and closed in 1981. The line was used both in the development of and transporting materials for the Snowy Mountains Scheme and the main method of transporting thousands of migrants to the Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre from Station Pier in Port Melbourne. The rail line has since been removed, and is now the High Country Rail Trail, a bike path linking Wodonga to Lake Hume.

Bonegilla migrant camp, 1954

Bonegilla migrant camp[edit]

As part of the Post war immigration to Australia, Australia's first migrant reception centre opened at Bonegilla in December 1947 with an intake of the first assisted migrants from Europe, Baltic refugees from Germany. Assisted migrants who had not been refugees began arriving in 1951. The Australian army had established a camp and military hospital on the site in 1940 as Albury-Wodonga was considered strategically important during the Second World War. Initially the army provided transport and security services to the migrant centre. The camp at Bonegilla closed in 1971 by which time some 320,000 migrants from over 30 countries had spent time there.[3][4] It is estimated that over 1.5 million Australians are descended from migrants who spent time at Bonegilla.[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bonegilla (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  2. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Retrieved 2008-04-11 
  3. ^ The Bonegilla Migrant Experience
  4. ^ Bonegilla Camp Block 19
  5. ^ "Bonegilla Migrant Camp - Block 19, Victoria". Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved 22 May 2010.