Molonglo Internment Camp
Canberra’s industrial suburb, Fyshwick, was once a vast area of unused land, making it a good site for a new internment camp, completed in April 1918. The British government had requested Australia to house 3,500 German and Austrian nationals who were being expelled from China.
The camp was a new township close to the Molonglo River, capable of housing 560 families plus military personnel. But after diplomatic interventions, the prospective internees did not arrive. Instead, 150 families from the recently closed internment camp at Bourke arrived at the end of May, soon joined by families from the Berrima internment camp. They included missionaries, merchants and mariners who had been detained in British colonies such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Guinea.
The Molonglo camp became an accepted part of the Canberra community. Locals played tennis on the camp courts, while internees were allowed to shop in Queanbeyan and walk through the bush.
In 1919, the internees were deported to Europe and the camp was closed.