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Western Australia’s migrant history celebrated

Jan 22, 2015
Photo of former Main Roads Migrant Camp                                      Photo of interior view of Nissen Hut as part of former Main Roads Migrant Camp

. Former Narrogin Main Roads Migrant Camp State heritage listed
. Listing includes three rare semi-cylindrical corrugated iron Nissen Huts

The important story of Western Australia’s post-World War II migrants has been celebrated with the State heritage listing of the former Main Roads Migrant Camp in Narrogin.

Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said the camp housed European migrants who had been displaced by the war and resettled in WA.

“The camp marks a significant turning point in Australian history, when the Australian Government worked together with the United Nations to accept, resettle and provide employment for many thousands of Europeans after World War II,” Mr Jacob said.

The camp was the first home to numerous migrants in WA, many of whom went on to become Australian citizens.  

“In the lead up to Australia Day, the heritage listing of the migrant camp highlights the diverse cultures and backgrounds that together make this State unique,” the Minister said.

“The camp’s conditions were basic, with migrants living in tents and semi-cylindrical corrugated iron structures known as Nissen Huts.  These Nissen Huts are the only remaining ones, in their original location, known for their historical use as temporary migrant accommodation.”

Mr Jacob said the camp was one of three migrant camps set up in Narrogin in the late 1940s and used until the mid-1950s.

“These post-war migrants played a vital role in the development of the State through the construction of State and local government buildings, roads and railways,” he said.

“After leaving the camps at the end of their work contract, many of the migrants remained in the local area, building or buying houses in town and getting jobs in the local community. Generations of these families still remain residents of the district today.

“This registration is an excellent example of the rich variety of places entered in the State Register of Heritage Places that tells the story of WA’s history and development.”

Today, the place is used by Main Roads WA as their Wheatbelt South Region Headquarters.

 Fact File
• There are 1,372 places entered in the State Register of Heritage Places

Find out more about the former Narrogin Main Roads Migrant Camp by reading the Register Entry and the Assessment Documentation on inHerit.

Go to the Minister's media statement page.
inHerit - an online portal for heritage listings

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