George was one of eleven children born on a
farm near the small village of Recovac, 75k from Belgrade.
He left at the earliest possible opportunity for the lure
of bright lights big city. He did this with his best mate
and they joined the air force academy in Belgrade. World War
2 broke out and very early in the piece they were shot down
and spent almost three years in a prisoner of war camp near
Most of the prisoners worked as labourers in factories or
on farms, they had very little to eat, and as his photographs
testify he was certainly lean. He initially worked on a nearby
farm, but when the Germans noticed his artistic talents, he
was in a sense commissioned to do paintings for German officers.
After being liberated by the allies, he ended up in the
British occupational forces in Germany.
After four years of being away from home he returned only
to find that two of his brothers axed to death his father,
my grandfather, and shortly after his mother died.
So he went back to Germany achieved refugee status and sailed
He first arrived in Melbourne, and then went onto Bonegilla
migrant camp for processing and then ended up in the central
highlands of Tasmania. In a place called Bronte Park. He stayed
with the Hydro for three years, which he was contracted to
do under the refugee deal. He always spoke fondly about his
experience, primarily the mateship that occurred. In fact
there were quite a few that had been with him since his POW
After his Hydro days he worked for the immigration department
as a translator and was certainly a key player in bringing
over migrants from the former Yugoslavia. He spoke six or
seven languages, which he must have learnt in the POW camp.
Milan Milojevic 2002