Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine

Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine
The Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine has a huge history base beginning in WWII when Mussolini and Hitler joined forces and declared war on Great Britain 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, Camp #11 with about 1000 internees.

One prisoner 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. We believe it to be the only roadside shrine of its kind in Australia.

Housed in the chapel are several sculptures (described below) and an “Australia Remembers” static display. The Shrine is a popular tourist attraction, depicting an important part of our history.

The She-Wolf (known as Lupa)

The Internment Camp Shrine houses a replica sculpture of the she-wolf and the two suckling Romulus and Remus. A creative Italian internee who coped with the boredom of camp life by exercising his talents sculptured it.

The legend of Romulus and Remus (the sons of Rea Silva and the god Mars, abandoned on the waters of the Tiber, and suckled by a she-wolf) that Rome derives its symbol. In fact, the she-wolf, an Etruscan work of the first half of the 5th century B.C. can be seen today in the Capitoline Museum in the Palazzo dei Conservatori. Originally, the sculpture did not have the two charming “putti” in the act of suckling milk; the great Florentine sculptor Antonio del Pollaiolo added these in the 15th century.

There are some theories regarding the origin of the name ‘Rome’. Some scholars maintain that it comes from the word ‘Rumon’, the name used for the River Tiber at the time of the city’s founding. Other scholars tend to identify Rome with the word ‘ruma’ (breast), the name given to the Palatine Hill.

Light House

The internees donated this sculpture by Dante Giacomel, of a replica Lighthouse, to Dr Francis Gordon Stimson for his son Donald Stimson in 1942.

Dr F. G. Stimson was the camp doctor for the duration of hostilities (1939-1945) and was appreciated very much for his caring towards the internees. The sculpture was donated back to the Shrine by the Stimson family. Donald Stimson passed away in 1950. Dr Stimson passed away in 1958 after serving the district since 1934.

Garden Pots

Two garden pots were also produced at the camp. They were in the possession of Mr DM (Mick) Breen, who resided in Harvey from 1922 to 1975. Mick passed away in 2003 and requested the two pots be returned to the Shrine for historical reference.

Access to the Shrine

Access to the Shrine is available via a QR Code system.


  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance
  • Car park

Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine

Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine

Internment Camp Fountain

A tranquil stone water fountain sits to the immediate south of the Shrine.

In 2002, the Internment Camp Memorial Shrine Committee built the Fountain.

Harvey Internment Camp Memorial Shrine

Garry’s Crossing

To the south of the Internment Camp Memorial Shrine, you will find a small pedestrian bridge known as Garry’s Crossing. It is named after Garry Van Burgel OAM in recognition of the work that he did in assisting with the establishment of the Shire precinct and particularly the crossing over the Northern Irrigation channel to give direct access between the Stirling Cottage Garden Precinct and the Shrine.

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