New sculpture at Bonegilla Rail Siding - Seven Cases by Yvonne George

Seven Cases pays respect to the more than 300,000 migrants who passed through the doors of the Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre between 1947 and 1971.

The cases are made from 5mm mild steel and individually embellished. The sculpture is located at the Bonegilla Rail Siding, Murray Valley Highway.

To access the rail siding, walk or ride along the High Country Rail Trail. The closest road access point to the rail trail is at Mahers Rd, Bonegilla to the east.

Listen to artist Yvonne George as she tells of her experience of developing the artworks and the meaning behind them.

Click here to view the video.


Nonne, Images Through Generations

On display until Monday, May 3
10am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Bonegilla Migrant Experience is proud to present Nonne, Images Through Generations, an exhibition that showcases the role of the Italian Australian Nonne through historic and contemporary photographs.

This exhibition is on loan from CO.AS.IT. Italian Historical Society and Museo Italiano.

Whether it is a long distance or much-loved nonna, a surrogate nonna, master chef or great story-teller, we all have or have had a nonna. This exhibition reminds us of the role they have played in our lives and in our community. Join us in celebrating their wisdom, strength, perseverance, resilience and their great cooking.


Making more room on The Arc

If you have visited Bonegilla Migrant Experience and The Arc recently, you might have noticed a few of the years had very little space for more plaques. With the help of staff and volunteers we have moved about a quarter of all of the plaquse to give some years more room. Thank you to all involved on a big task and taking care with each plaque.


Mother's Day plaques

If you are planning to organise a plaque for your mum or special lady for Mother’s Day, please submit your application via the website by Thursday, April 1 to ensure the plaque is on the wall for Mother’s Day. Click here to complete the online application.

Once your application is received, you will receive an email with details of how to pay and about the process, you will also be given a staff contact, they will assist you through the process.


Meet the team

Meet Gary (volunteer)

How long have you volunteered at Bonegilla Migrant Experience?
I've been volunteering at BME since I retired in 2011 with the odd absence for travel.

What do you like about volunteering at BME?
I like the people I work with, interacting with visitors and I like the site itself which of course reminds me of the journeys so many people took to from across the world to call Australia home. For me it’s really nice to wander around the site opening or shutting up in the morning or arvo just soaking in the atmosphere.

What stories have you been told by visitors?
Stories, well one bloke told how he and his parents were about to leave a camp in Italy bound for Australia when they were told to all go in to a shower block and get showered as a treatment for lice although they weren't told it was for lice and feared they'd come so far only to be gassed at the last minute.
Then there was the Irish couple who were there in the early 70s who said they couldn't understand a word anyone was saying and didn't have a clue what they were eating because by then the European residents had pretty much taken over everything. I told them another Irish couple who'd visited a couple of weeks earlier told the same story and they said they were good friends with them.

But probably the one that I remember most is when an elderly man who came here from Italy many years ago visited the site and with tears in his eyes kept shaking my hand saying "thank you thank you" in appreciation for his life in Australian and for keeping the site going for him to visit. Naturally I said I hadn't done much but his gratitude to our country and BME is very memorable.

Do you volunteer in elsewhere the local community?
Other volunteering jobs, I really only go to FoodShare a couple of half days per week and do a bit with my Rotary Club Belvoir Wodonga.


How to contact us:

If you need to contact us, please phone (02) 6020 6912 or email [email protected]u

With the change to our opening hours, we are available answer calls and respond to emails Saturday, Sunday and Mondays from 10am to 4pm.

If you contact us at a time when we are closed, please be assured that you will receive a response during our operating hours.


We'd love to hear your feedback

Have you recently visited us at Bonegilla Migrant Experience?

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We look forward to welcoming you to Bonegilla Migrant Experience soon.