St Nicholas Russian Orthodox church – Newcastle
As far as it is known, there were no Russians in Newcastle or the wider Hunter region until 1949, when about 100 Russians arrived at the Greta Migrant Camp. The site of an Australian Army training camp during World War 2, the Migrant Camp was a home for over 100,000 migrants between 1949 and 1960. These first Russians all came from the city of Shanghai in China. They came to Australia via Tubabao Island in the Phillipines, the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) having established a temporary refuge there for 5,000 Russians fleeing communism in China. Arriving at first in Sydney, they were given refuge at Greta. Most left soon after to join the established Russian communities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Shortly afterwards, another small group of Russian people arrived at the Greta Camp from Bathurst. They were “displaced persons”, refugees from Germany, Austria and Yugoslavia who were resettled in Australia by the IRO under a resettlement agreement or assisted passage scheme.