The Holy Child Orphanage was established by the Sisters of St John of God in 1941, in Broome. School-aged Aboriginal girls and 'working girls' were accommodated there. Girls and young people were placed by their families and by the Department of Native Affairs.
From 1942 to 1945, during World War II, Holy Child Orphanage moved to Beagle Bay, as Broome had been declared a military town and women and children were not permitted to live there.
School children attended St Mary's School in Broome. They wore blue uniforms and were known as the 'blue army' by people seeing them march to and from school.
The Holy Child Orphanage closed in December 1962.
Some records are held by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and can be accessed through them or via the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Church related documents and correspondence are held by the Catholic Diocese of Broome. Historical memorabilia and possibly other records are held by the SSJG Heritage Centre in Broome, and the State Records Office holds records.
While access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
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
Sisters of St John of God, Kimberley, Records is a collection of memorabilia, documents, audio-visual items and 34,000 photographs. These are kept, and some are on display in the Heritage Centre in Broome, Western Australia.
Sisters of St John of God, Kimberley records:
Sisters of St John of God
PO Box 7442, Broome WA 6725
Phone: (08) 9192 3950
24 February 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00099
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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