Molonglo, Australian Capital Territory (1918–19)

The Molonglo camp was located outside of the newly established national capital, Canberra, in what was then called the Federal Capital Territory (now Australian Capital Territory). It was purpose-built late in the war in anticipation of the arrival of 5000 German and Austrian men, women and children from China and east Africa. These internees never arrived in Australia, so the German families interned at Bourke, New South Wales, were transferred there instead. The families of local internees petitioned to be allowed to reside there also, but the government was unwilling to intern local families who they considered had resources not available to the foreign deportees.

The Molonglo camp was the best equipped and least crowded of the World War l internment camps, having been built for many more people than it ever housed. It was closed in May 1919.

Two men standing on the post office steps at Molonglow camp - A raised narrow timber building on short piers.
The post office at the Molonglo camp (NAA: B5919, 4/194)
Blocks of barracks radiated from a central service area at the Molonglo camp (AWM H17411)

Collection references

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2017