A little known fact about Australia, WW2 and internment camps is the matter of civilian internees. There were camps scattered throughout Australia, with 7 in and around the northern Victorian town of Tatura (Coordinates 36.4333° S, 145.2333° E). Tatura was an optimal place for camps, as it is far enough inland to avoid the risk of prison escapes. Whilst these camps held Prisoners of War (POW’s) of multiple ethnic groups, they also held Australian citizens with varying ethnicity and backgrounds. Just some of these races were Japanese, German, Austrian and Italian. Between the years of 1939 and 1945 around 15,000 internees stationed throughout Australia were in fact Australian civilians. These people were not soldiers, nor had they necessarily broken the law or fought for either side of the war. They were civilians with average occupations and families. However, due to the actual and/or perceived security risks that certain ethnic groups posed to Australia, some of these average men and women were captured and held in the prison camps. This stripped them of their rights, as well as their abilities to potentially act as spies for the enemies. They were fingerprinted, photographed and given numbers, just like real prisoners. The same sort of thing happened in America in WW2 and even in France in WW1.
Both at the time and throughout the years this matter has been somewhat buried in history. It is not a widely known subject and newspaper articles from the time fail to suggest any civilians were interned at all. Whilst Tatura was not the only place in Australia that these internment camps existed, it is a significant piece of history for the communities that form what today is known as the Goulburn Valley.
This website discusses some of these civilians who were interned and provides official government records that confirm they were just average residents who were locked away in prison camps.