Historical information

Bonegilla operated as an army base from September 1940 and by 1943 was expanded to 848 buildings, including a general hospital. It provided training for small arms instructors, signallers, transport workers, bomb disposal and gas warfare personnel.

In a response to the need to house the growing number of displaced persons coming to Australia, the Bonegilla Reception and Training Centre began operating in 1947. For some time it was a shared facility but the Army withdrew temporarily from Bonegilla in 1949, whilst still retaining ownership of the site. From 1949-65 Bonegilla Reception and Training Centre operated without a military presence.

However, in the late 1960s and Australia’s commitments to the Vietnam War and pressed by the need to find accommodation to train men, especially National Servicemen, the Army negotiated with the Department of Immigration to take over several blocks at Bonegilla in 1965. Thirty-five huts were acquired by the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps as a Recruit Training Centre in which National Servicemen and recruits could attend 10-week ordnance courses. Shortly afterwards additional huts were acquired by the School of Military Survey, which established field-survey practical training areas and special astronomical observation sites as it began conducting courses in surveying. Instructors and trainees co-located at Bonegilla with migrant reception centre.

In 1971 the Reception Centre closed and the site reverted to the Army. Progressively after 1971 the Army undertook a major site redevelopment with the construction of Latchford Barracks as the Army Apprentice School. Later Latchford Barracks was redeveloped into part of the Army Logistic Training Centre. Block 19 of the Mirant Reception Centre later became the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park.


This item depicts a heritage listed historical site located in the Wodonga district.

Physical description

A large poster size representation of the variety of buildings at Bonegilla, Victoria when it served as the location for the Royal Australian School of Military Survey. The insignia of the Royal Australian Survey Corps is featured in the top left hand corner.

Inscriptions & markings

Top left corner: Insignia of the Royal Australian Survey Corps
At bottom of sketches: "The School of Military Survey, Bonegilla Victoria / January 1966 - December 1982