Harvey Internment Camp Shrine
Our Year 5 class recently visited the Harvey Internment Camp Shrine as part of our learning about the impact and contribution of Italian migration in Australia, and more specifically, our local area. The Internment Camp was in operation during World War II, housing both Italian internees who were known as “Enemy Aliens” as well as Prisoners of War from the German warship HSK Kormoran responsible for sinking HMAS Sydney.
The Shrine was built by internees who wanted a place to gather in prayer as part of their strong Catholic Faith. In the 1980s it was discovered in a field and restored. It has since been housed in the stone chapel and developed into a tourist precinct in recognition of those who were interned as well as those impacted by the internment of their loved ones.
The display boards are written in both English and Italian and the students loved testing their language skills to recognise words and phrases familiar to them. They were also interested in the “Australia Remembers” exhibit and were able to link this to their learning in HASS about the ways communities work together based on shared values and beliefs and how they develop and change over time.
The students enjoyed exploring this fascinating piece of history and were intrigued by the strong connection to our local community in Harvey. Many of the names of current families at St Anne’s, including that of their teacher and some of the students themselves, are listed on the wall plaques at the camp in remembrance of their grandfathers, great-grandfathers and relatives who were interned.
Teacher – Louisa Sgambelluri