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National Archives of Australia:

A3560, 2499 Like
South Molonglo construction camp

Title

South Molonglo construction camp

Date Range

January 1921–December 1935

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Ann Gugler says:
February 22 2013

This is a photograph of Molonglo Settlement on the site of modern Fyshwick. It began 'life' as the Molonglo Internment Camp erected in late 1918. Following the end of the First World War about half the buildings were sold off. The remaining buildings were converted into 120 cottages and accommodation for 150 single tradesmen. The first Mess Caterer for the single men was Mr and Mrs Convine. The original 'houses' were barracks which were let out at 3 or 6 rooms. Every room opened to the front of the barracks. In between two lots of barracks were the ablution, lavatories and washing areas. These 'cottages' were occupied from 1921 and in 1925 the population of Molonglo was around 750 - only 50 larger than Westlake (site now Stirling Park Yarralumla and the western side of Capital Hill) in the Guru Bung Dhaura (stony ground - Ngunawal) Hills (ref Mr Don Bell, deceased - Ngunawal elder). Westlake had a population of around 700 living in Contractor John Howie's settlement, Tradesmen's Camp,. No 3 Sewer Camp and The Gap Cottages - only 51 built at that time.

The Molonglo Settlement was sub standard living conditions - the buildings were unlined and as the timber dried out the gaps left allowed wind to whistle through. The Molonglo School was opened in either late 1921 or early 1922 and continued well into the 1930s or even later. It only went to 6th class and Mr Ivey was the first teacher.

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