At the beginning of World War Two, Mussolini and Hitler joined forces and declared war on Great Brittain and France. As a result, all German and Italian migrants living in the allied countries were categorised as enemy aliens, and subsequently interned in camps. One of these camps was situated in Harvey with about 1000 internees. A prisoner there instigated the construction of an altar made of stone, depicting the Catholic faith. The shrine still stands today and was enclosed in a chapel in 1992.
It is believed to be the only roadside shrine of its kind in Australia. Housed in the chapel are several sculptures and an “Australia Remembers” static display. To access the Shrine, a key must be collected from the Harvey Visitor Centre.
Along your 200 metre journey from the Harvey Visitor Centre to the Internment Camp Memorial Shrine you will cross a bridge known as Garry’s Crossing. This is named for a local community member – Garry Van Burgel OAM – in recognition of the work he did for the establishment of the Shrine precinct, particularly the crossing over the channel giving direct access between the Harvey Visitor Centre and the Internment Camp Memorial Shrine.
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