Scheyville Migrant Hostel


An area of the Cumberland Plain located in the Hawkesbury, and known as Scheyville, was formerly used as a farm for boys who were sent over from Britain and trained in preparation for rural assignment throughout Australia as farm labourers. During World War II, Scheyville was used as a military training camp for the 73rd Australian Anti-aircraft Search Light Company and later the RAAF 244 1st Parachute Battalion. At the end of World War II, Australia embarked on a greatly expanded immigration program which coincided with large numbers of so called ‘displaced persons’ fleeing post-war Europe.

Subsequently, in 1949, Scheyville was converted to migrant accommodation which housed hundreds of European migrants and their families during their transition to private housing and stable employment. The Scheyville exhibition takes a look at this snapshot of time reflecting on the experiences of the individuals and families who spent their first few weeks, months and years there.

Housed in barracks style accommodation and two large Nissan huts utilised as a kitchen, communal dining room, a school and recreation hall, conditions were cramped and spartan. However, many who were children at Scheyville have fond memories of bushwalking, hiking, swimming in the creek, playing sport and making friends with people of many diverse countries and cultural backgrounds. It was a life that provided a glimpse, and the attainment for some, of the great Australian dream.

Click on the PDF link below for more information on the exhibition.

Page ID: 105068