Collection recognised

September 19, 2017

Tatura Museum president Steve Barnard, Dunera Boy descendant Michelle Frenkel, Dunera Association president Rebecca Silk, Dunera Boy Bern Brent, member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed and Greater Shepparton City Council mayor Dinny Adem.

Lurline Knee with a special donation from Queensland - a selection of puppets made in internment camps are gifted t the museum this year.

Tatura Museum’s wartime camps collection has been officially been added to the Victorian Heritage Register where there are 1700 pieces now recognised by the Heritage Council of Victoria.

Tatura Historical Society president Steve Barnard said it was a ‘‘feather in the cap’’ for the museum, which features an extensive array of goods from the prisoner of war and internment camps located near the township during World War II.

‘‘Now when we apply for grants we can use this to add weight to our applications,’’ he said.

Mr Barnard said the collection was inspected by the Heritage Council of Victoria during the register process.

‘‘The collection documents all the different nationalities, political beliefs and religions of the people held in the camps,’’ the museum’s application read.

‘‘It also shows the majority of internees and prisoners resolved to make the best of their circumstances by maintaining traditions, by going about life as routinely as possible; and by occupying their time making necessities, studying, learning skills, creating art, entertaining each other and recording their experiences in art and writing — all within the limited resources of the camps.’’

Mr Barnard said the collection was the largest one in Victoria of moveable heritage relating to Australia’s wartime camps, some of it coming from other parts of the world.

‘‘The... collection is a rare contribution to the little known history of war camps in Victoria, the policies implemented by the Commonwealth Government during WWII and the stories of the people associated with the camps,’’ he said.

■The Tatura Irrigation and Wartime Camps Museum is located at 49 Hogan St, Tatura as is open on Monday to Friday from 1pm to 3pm, and on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 2pm to 4pm; bus trips and groups by arrangement.

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