Greta Migrant and Army Camp anniversaries

Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon wants Government support to ensure the anniversaries of the Greta Army and Migrant Camps are appropriately commemorated and celebrated.

Backed by Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson, Mr Fitzgibbon moved a motion in the Parliament calling on the Government to do all it can to make the anniversaries a success.

Mr Fitzgibbon has also asked the Government to assist in the establishment of a monument on the site with appropriate signage to assist families of migrants with links to the camp seeking to make a pilgrimage back to the site.

“2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Greta Army Camp in the Hunter electorate. It also marks the 70th anniversary of its transformation into a Migrant Camp,” Mr Fitzgibbon told the Parliament.

“Throughout the course of WWII, up to 60,000 soldiers of the Second AIF trained in Greta.  It was one of the Army’s largest camps.  That means Greta played a significant role in the war effort and it’s a history worth commemorating.

“Then between 1949 and 1960, 100,000 new arrivals passed through the former army barracks. Most were fleeing the horrors of post WWII Europe. 

“Our local communities remain enriched by the ongoing presence of many of the new arrivals and their children and grandchildren. In addition to commemorating and celebrating the 70th anniversary, we hope to ensure people who have an affinity with the former camp have somewhere and something prominent to visit. 

“We must facilitate their pilgrimage and keep the memories and history alive.”

Watch the full speech HERE.

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