Cundeelee was established by the Australian Aborigines' Evangelical Mission (AAEM) in 1949, reportedly to discourage Aboriginal people from 'begging' on the trans-Australian railway line. From around 1939 to 1948 there had been a government 'feeding depot' for Aboriginal people on the site. When the AAEM offered to establish a mission, they were actively encouraged by the Department of Native Affairs.
In 1952, a sandalwood licence was issued to Cundeelee, and youth and men from the mission worked on the 'Sandalwood Project' as it was known in the Department of Native Affairs. A photograph taken in 1957 has a caption that states Aboriginal youth were being paid for collecting sandalwood.
By the early 1980s, the Cundeelee property was vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust and was later leased to Upurl Upurlia Ngurratja.
The collection held by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (DCPFS) dates from 1894. It includes records from the Government Receiving Depot, the State Children's Department, the Child Welfare Department and more recent departments which have been known at different times as the Department for Child Protection, Community Development, Community Welfare, Community Services, and Family and Children's Services. The records relate to children who were placed in all types of out of home 'care' in Western Australia. Some of the records held by the DCPFS were originally created by another government department or private agency.
Contact Freedom of Information, Department for Child Protection and Family Support:
PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892
Telephone: (08) 6217 6388 or (08) 6217 6381
Facsimile: (08) 9222 2776
Free call in WA: 1800 000 277
The State Records Office (SRO) holds the State archives collection. The state archives collection includes records that might be of interest to people who were in out of home care as children. These records can be found throughout the collection because many government agencies were involved. The Find and Connect web resource will identify as many of these records as possible.
State Records Office of Western Australia:
Alexander Library Building, Perth Cultural Centre, Perth WA 6000
Phone: (08) 9427 3600
The Department of Aboriginal Affairs [predecessors], Records is a collection of records relating to Aboriginal family history in Western Australia. The collection includes records held in the State Records Office; copies of the Norman Tindale and Joseph Birdsell genealogies, photographs, journals and data; copies of the Elkin genealogies for the Kimberley region; and the Jan Goodacre Collection of genealogy, photographs and historical records.
Aboriginal History Research Unit, Department of Aboriginal Affairs:
PO Box 3153 East Perth WA 6892
Phone: 1300 651 077
Fax: (08) 6551 8008
[From the National Library of Australia's 'Bringing them home oral history project'] Capp speaks about his experiences at Cundeelee Australian Aborigines Evangelical Mission, W.A., Mount Margaret United Aborigines Mission, W.A. and Ernabella Presbyterian Mission, S. Aust. He expresses his views on the removal of children from their families and the long-term effects of even short-term separations. Capp also discusses his role as an interpreter of the Pitjantjatjara language in a court case involving an Indigenous woman who was trying to regain custody of her son.
National Library of Australia, Librarian, Information Services:
National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6262 1266
Fax: (02) 6273 5081
27 June 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00066
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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