Northam Army Camp Heritage Association Inc.

View of the corrugated-iron buildings at Northam Army Camp. Building H8 at Northam Army Camp. View of a group of corrugated-iron buildings at Northam Army Camp. The sentry box at the entrance to Northam Army Camp.

Storylines / Migrant

Closure of the Camp

Northam Accommodation Centre closed in September 1951. In a space of only two years it had been the first home in Australia for approximately 15,000 immigrants from the Baltic States, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Yugoslavia, the Ukraine, White Russia and Bulgaria.

At its peak in 1950, Northam Accommodation Centre was the largest in Western Australia and the third largest in Australia.

Once the Northam Accommodation Centre closed, the camp reverted to the Department of Army for training purposes.

From June 1951 to 1957, Holden Holding Centre operated as the reception and accommodation centre for many Displaced Persons and European migrants. Holden Holding Centre finally closed in 1968.

Many migrants continued to work at Northam Camp during these years. For example, Renato Frigieri, who arrived on the Castel Velice in October 1952, commuted from Holden Camp each day to work on construction jobs at the Army Camp.

Return to Top