At the end of the 19th Century, the French government looked around for labour for New Caledonia. Workers were needed on the coffee plantations and also servants were sought after. New Caledonia became home to the second largest Javanese community outside Indonesia with some 20,000 immigrants sent between 1896 and 1955. Javanese going to New Caledonia were sent on five-year contracts, after which they had the right to either seek repatriation or an alternative employer. (Source: Indonesians overseas – deep histories and the view from below )
With the Netherlands occupied by the Nazis and the Dutch East Indies by the Japanese. The Netherlands-Government-in-Exile in Brisbane was desperate for labour. For that reason they looked at the Javanese population on New Caledonia. After negotiations with the Australian authorities the Dutch were allowed to bring 4000 of them to Australia and space was made available for them at Camp Victory in Casino. In order to persuade them to come to Australia they were allowed to bring their wives and children with them.
The documentation below discusses this interesting and largely unknown history of this project. With thanks to UQ Researcher Ruby Todorovski.