“One precinct, but so many stories – where else can you find a socialist labour settlement and a military training facility for the Vietnam War? This place is fascinating.”
Throughout the twentieth century, the buildings and public spaces of Scheyville played host to many different people, groups and projects: a socialist labour settlement; the Dreadnought Trust’s training scheme for young British men; and farm training for Australian city boys. Scheyville even functioned for a time as a military camp and later the largest immigration hostel in Australia, this history is detailed through the Migrant Heritage walk.
Scheyville may be a national park now, but the site’s heritage is as clear as ever in Scheyville Camp precinct, where visitors can wander around old buildings and learn about the past way of life here via interpretive signs. This is a particularly good stop for history buffs, school students, or people just looking to bookend a relaxing picnic with some light learning. Expect to find several easy walks around restored buildings from the 1920s or 50s, buildings in current restoration, or remnants of structures long since fallen.
Scheyville Camp precinct has a strong historical value, but also a strong emotional one: residents came to the site during times of great change in their lives, as Dreadnought boys, post-World War II migrants, or conscripted cadets during the Vietnam War. The site is a legacy to these people.