The full informational booklet is available here, but the most important details are included below.


Getting there

There will be buses from Perth going up to Yongah Hill. For interstate or international participants there may be some local transport available from the airport to the central departure point, from where the buses will depart for Yongah Hill. Some billeting will also be possible.

At this point some people will be traveling to Yongah Hill on Friday and on the Saturday. Some will be intending to camp for the whole weekend, some may attend only for a day or even half-day. Depending on demand there may be buses to accommodate these varied travel needs on different days.

The journey from Perth to Yongah Hill is only about 1.5 hours long. Use common sense to plan for your own comfort on this trip.

Geography

Yongah Hill Detention Centre

Yongah Hill detention centre was opened in July 2012. It is located on the Northam Army Base about 4 km west of Northam. The detention centre consists of mainly demountable buildings in several internal compounds and is sited a couple of hundred meters within the perimeter fence of the Northam Army Base.

Yongah Hill is essentially a maximum security facility, with extensive surveillance cameras, a double perimeter fence, with the inner fence electrified, as well as secure internal compounds and mesh covered-in walk-ways.

Refugees in detention here are subject to the petty and arbitrary authority of Serco and DIAC staff, who are inclined to exercise control over the minutiae of their lives.

Northam Army Base

Northam Army Base is a little used facility and has only a few permanent staff such as caretakers. It is mainly used as a training facility for the Army Reserve. The base includes areas both north and south of the Great Eastern Highway. The south side of the base has an airfield, parade ground and most of the buildings. The northern side has a firing range and a large area for manoeuvres.

Indigenous issues

There are no Aboriginal reserves near Yongah Hill or other areas with restricted access due to indigenous land rights. There may be more information available at a later date with respect to wishes or interests of the local indigenous people that may have some relevance to our presence at Yongah Hill.

The connection of indigenous peoples with the land in this area has been highly disrupted. In the 1930s the entire indigenous population was removed to the Moore River colony.

Terrain

The area around the base is hilly as the base is cited on the edge of the Avon valley, with the Avon river passing through Northam close by. Where there is native vegetation it is low woodland, quite sparse in places, with a generally thin undergrowth.

There is no standing water on or around the base. A still very-small Avon river passes by the south side of the base on its way to Northam. The ground around the base is stony and sandy.

Northam

Northam is a small town though does have most amenities and facilities. Most outlets are closed after midday on a Saturday. The main shopping outlets are along the main roads, with the exception of Mitchell Ave.

What you must bring

You must provide your own

  • bedclothes (i.e. blanket or sleeping bag and pillow)
  • personal hygiene items

It is strongly suggested that you bring,

  • sun glasses
  • sturdy shoes
  • light full-length pants
  • mobile phone
  • Internet capable devices if you wish to spend a lot of time online
  • Insect repellent, for use on shoes (there are lots of ants!)

Campsite

The Campsite affinity group will provide some limited,

  • ablution facilities
  • hand and body washing facilities
  • meals
  • lighting
  • electrical power
  • tables
  • seating