Latchford Barracks Theatre, Bonegilla

Project Type:

Heritage Significance Assessment, Historical Research


Department of Defence

LGA: City of Wodonga

GML was commissioned by the Department of Defence (Defence) to undertake a heritage assessment of the theatre (built in 1942), within the Latchford Barracks at Bonegilla, Victoria.

The site has had a complex, multilayered history. Initially established in 1940 as the Bonegilla Military Camp, it was converted for use as the Migrant Reception and Training Centre before being redeveloped as the current Defence Latchford Barracks. The theatre is one of the only buildings that remain from the site’s early military history.

Using methodologies from Recognising our Heritage: Defence Heritage Assessment Kit and the Recognising our Heritage: Defence Guidelines on Assessing Significance Thresholds (both authored by GML for Defence), a heritage assessment of the Latchford Barracks Theatre was undertaken. The theatre had not been previously assessed for its heritage values against the Commonwealth Heritage criteria.

GML conducted historic research into the site and stakeholder consultation with Defence and base staff, as well as with notable historian and expert on Bonegilla, Dr Bruce Pennay.

The assessment determined that the theatre met the threshold for inclusion on the Commonwealth Heritage List (CHL). GML provided Defence with guidance for the ongoing management of the building, identified opportunities for its adaptive re-use and interpretation as well as providing maintenance recommendations to facilitate its effective re-use.

Throughout the process, GML worked closely with Defence (including the regional support team) to ensure a comprehensive understanding of Defence’s operational requirements. The project was delivered in a timely and safe manner that helped Defence meet its obligations for the identification and assessment of its heritage assets.

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GML Heritage project
Source: National Archives of Australia.

Source: National Archives of Australia.