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Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum Tatura, VIC

Tatura Museum houses a unique collection based on 3 main themes which are: the History of Irrigation in Victoria's Goulburn Valley, the Local and Family History of Tatura and District since settlement and the history of the seven World War 2 Prisoner of War and Internment Camps and the Garrison and Hospital which were established in this area.
Tatura Museum is not the average small town museum. Our collection includes ONLY items which have a connection to Tatura.
Whether it is Local, Family, Irrigation or War Time Camps history every article on display has a direct connection with Tatura and is not just part of a general historical display.
The collection and our reference library are a valuable source of research material for academics, school children, relatives and former residents.

Contact Information

PO Box 156 49 Hogan Street Tatura VIC 3616 (map)
+61 +613 58242111


Opening Hours

Monday - Friday 1.00pm - 3.00pm Saturday / Sunday / Public Holidays 2.00pm - 4.00pm Bus trips and groups by arrangement

Entry Fee

$5 Adults


49 Hogan Street Tatura VIC

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Photographs, art and craft work, records, recollections and other archival material recovered from the former Prisoners of War and Internees in the Tatura Area during WW2, many of whom remained in Australia after their release.
These include the collection of 54 works of Leonhard Adam completed over a 50 year period and donated by his daughter Mary-Clare Murvitz of Israel and a collection of war time sketches by Georg Rosenkranz.
We have many artefacts and documents relating to the HSK Kormoran and HMAS Sydney as the Kormoran survivors were prisoners of war in Tatura.
Books, records, maps, photographs and information on the history of Irrigation in Victoria's Goulburn Valley.
Books, photographs, memorabilia, maps and recollections regarding the Local History of Tatura and District including major industries and local families.


Much of the collection has originated from activities of prisoners from within the camps, and so it is unique and irreplaceable. Many of the internees brought to these camps from overseas countries were intellectuals, academically well qualified in their professions and some were gifted sports persons or in their trade. Many of these people chose to remain in Australia and have added immensely to the education and culture of this country. Their stories, most involving escape from Nazism, are inspirational.

The story of the development of Irrigation in the Western Goulburn Valley is the story of the first irrigation scheme in Victoria, and lead to the creation of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, and its involvement in Irrigation.

Guy McIntosh 24 January 2015 5:44 PM

Hello there, I have in my collection a threepence coin and with a swastika hole punched in the centre of the coin, it also is stamped REGD:787 on the back, can you please assist me in my research if you know anything about the 1910 three pence coin, Thankyou

Guy McIntosh 24 January 2015 5:44 PM

Hello there, I have in my collection a threepence coin and with a swastika hole punched in the centre of the coin, it also is stamped REGD:787 on the back, can you please assist me in my research if you know anything about the 1910 three pence coin, Thankyou

Caitlin 25 August 2015 7:46 PM

I have the same threepence coin. It has a swastika punched into it and also REGD787 stamped on the back. In my research, I haven't found any information about it. If anyone can help with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sandra M SMITH 12 October 2019 8:26 PM

At my own time and expense I compiling a profile on the service men and women on the Weethalle NSW War Memorial. This is not for profit but to give the village a legacy to be used for Commemoration,Education, Enjoyment and as a Resource tool. One of the men listed is Irishman Francis Irvine who was KIA at Tobruk. Private IRVINE's sister was the wife of Johann Heinrich SCHMITZ who died while in the internee camp at Tatura. Records show you are holding a document(s) on this gentleman. Is it possible to have a copy of what you have, to add to his brother-in-law's file please. The document is in an black 4 ring folder with your Registration Number C0713. I thank you for your assistance and consideration. All material will be professionally acknowledged. Sandra

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Contact the collector

4 items with documents

4 items

no image

Booklet - Dhurringile Mansion

Key words

james winter

17 pages of photocopy material, with B/W photos, printed on A4 paper. Held together by a stapler. Painting of the original mansion on front page.

Historical information

Tells of James Winter building Dhurringile mansion, and life as it was in the surrounding townships. The mansion was completed in 1877. The name "Dhurringile"was taken from an Aboriginal word meaning "crouching emu". History of the mansion - including a home for German internees (Aug. 1941 - July 1945) a training farm for British orphans ( 1947 - 1965) and is now a minimum security prison (1965 -)

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Document and CD - Biography - Bernhard Hermann Gerstle

Key words

camp 1

Black plastic A4 display folder. CD soft case with CD. Folder contains printed biographical information regarding Bernhard Hermann Gerstle. CD contains copies of same documents and also copies of photographs of Bernhard & the Gerstle family.

Historical information

Bernhard Gerstle & his family (parents & siblings) were German nationals working in Tehran, Iran upon the outbreak of World War II. In 1941, after the installation of a pro-British ruler to the Persian throne, all German nationals were targeted as threats to national security. The women and children evacuated to Stuttgart, Germany via Turkey, while the men were handed over to British forces. Bernhard was taken by ship (the SS Rona) to Bombay & then to Australia (on the SS Rangitiki). He was then marched in to Loveday internment camp 10, South Australia. In January 1945 the German & Italian internees at Loveday were transferred to Tatura Camp 1. Bernhard remained there until after the war & his eventual release, on 29th August 1946. Bernhard chose & was granted permission to remain in Australia post-war, as did many civilian internees, after their examination by a Committee of Inquiry which investigated their political leanings & other criteria for their supposed suitability as Australian residents. The biography also recounts his employment post-war, marriage in 1952 & his later naturalisation as an Australian citizen. Other material includes Gerstle family history from the perspective of Bernhard's sister & family, who remained in Stuttgart; background on the Gerstle family's Russian origins; and a biography of Oskar Speck, famous kayaker, amongst other things, who was interned along with Bernhard & who became good friends with the family; a brief historical background of the Allied forces/Persia invasion; and extracts of Tatura Camp 3 internee Helga Griffin's book, "Sing Me That Lovely Song Again".

Inscriptions & Markings

Folder: Bernhard Hermann Gerstle/ Gerstle Family/ Loveday and Tatura Internment Camps 1941-1946/ Sydney 1946-1978/ Compiled by Mary Henderson 2013 CD: BH Gerstle; 1941 - Interned by British/ 1941-1946 - Internee at Loveday SA, Tatura VIC/ Sydney 1946-1978.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

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Document - Memoir - Memories of Tatura

Key words

world war ii
internee camps
civilian internees
german internees
camp 3
new guinea

13 page document, A4 paper. 7 pages of English translation, 6 pages German original.

Historical information

An account of the author's family background & early life, more particularly those events leading to their internment in Tatura, Victoria, Australia during World War 2. The author's parents (author Hermine Wedel, nee Strauss) were of German nationality & practicing as missionaries in New Guinea. Upon the outbreak of WW2, those German nationals were ordered to the coast by the Australian authorities and the men were transported to internment camps in Australia. The women remained behind, reporting regularly to the authorities, until they too were brought to camps in Australia at the end of 1941. They were eventually reunited in a family camp for internees, Camp 3 at Tatura, in 1943. They were released from the camp to work in Australia in 1947 and the family returned to New Guinea in 1949, and eventually went back to Germany. The author also briefly recounts her marriage & married life in Brazil & Germany.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Photograph - Camp 13 Sergeants Mess

Key words


Sgt. Lesock centre row, 5th. from left.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura