Booklet 'Facts about Commonwealth Hostels Limited' published by Commonwealth Hostels Ltd, 1967. The booklet has information about: the company's role in Australian the migrant hostels, the various the facilities and services provided by them, information about the hostel reconstruction programme, which began in 1965, and a description of the guest houses and non-migrant hostels also operated by the company. The list on the last page of the booklet indicates that in 1967 there were 28 migrant hostels and 20 guest houses and non-migrant hostels managed by Commonwealth Hostels Ltd.

Commonwealth Hostels Limited was created in 1951 to operate and manage Commonwealth migrant hostels. In 1978 the company changed its name to Commonwealth Accommodation and Catering Services (CACS), which reflected its role in catering and accommodation within a range of non-migrant government facilities as well.

Physical Description

Six page booklet with a black and white photo of the Gowrie guest-house in the ACT on the cover.


Statement of Significance/ Technical significance:
The stories of migrants and the organizations that assisted them comprise a significant part of Australian post-war history. Since World War II, thousands of government-assisted migrants and refugees have experienced arrival and accommodation at the migrant hostels. Yet migrant hostels are an under-documented area of Australia's immigration history - with the exception of Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre, which was managed by the Department of Immigration. This collection is significant as it contributes to filling the gap in knowledge about the Commonwealth migrant hostels, which were a function of the Department of Labour and National Service. This collection and the accompanying archival documents are a rare find. Items from the migrant hostels were often sold or disposed of by the government soon after they were closed-down. Many migrants have kept photos taken during their stay at the hostels but day-to-day items belonged to the Company and were returned to the hostel upon departure. This collection has the potential enhance collections in cultural institutions such the NSW Powerhouse Museum and Migration Heritage Centre (Villawood [Westbridge] and Cabramatta hostels).

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