Dunera Museum - Hay Internment and POW Camps Story
A fascinating and little-known piece of Australia’s World War II history is on display at the Dunera Museum in Hay. More than 6,000 German, Italian and Japanese civilians were interned at three POW camps in Hay between 1940 and 1946.
The camps were funded by the British Government and operated by the Australian Government, with the prisoners guarded by 600 members of the 16th Garrison Battalion.
The camps also housed the ‘Dunera Boys’, a group of some 2,000 refugees (most of them Jewish) who had fled to the United Kingdom from Germany and Austria, only to be deported by the British Government as ‘enemy aliens’. Among them were many academics, artists, tradesmen and skilled professionals, and they set up universities, libraries, orchestras, theatres and newspapers inside the camps.
Housed inside air-conditioned train carriages, the museum and interpretive centre showcases exhibits, photographs and music that together tell the stories of the internees, the guards and local townspeople. The museum was opened in 1999 and since then more than 43,000 people from 32 different countries have visited.
Actively welcomes people with access needs.
Caters for people who use a wheelchair.
Caters for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance. (This includes people using walking frames and mobility aids)
Have a step free main entrance to the building and/or reception area (includes ramps or slopes with a maximum gradient of 1:14, otherwise are too steep for wheelchairs)
Have an accessible public toilet which is unlocked
Have step free outdoor pathways (includes picnic areas, barbecues and shelters)
Provide seating in common areas including reception area
Use floors/coverings which are slip resistant, firm and smooth