The Pallottine Mission, Tardun was a residential mission school run by the Society of the Catholic Apostolates (Pallottines). It was officially opened in September 1948 but it may have been operating from the start of the 1948 school year. There were separate dormitories for boys and girls. Pallottine Fathers and Brothers looked after the boys' dormitory. The girls' dormitory was run by the Presentation Sisters from 1948 to February 1949, when the Dominican Sisters took over; then the Schoenstatt Sisters from 1951 to 1960. From 1960, the girls' dormitory was staffed by 'lay missionaries'.
Until 1968 there were around 100 children living at the mission. From this time series of 'houses' were built for different groups (for example, the Ag School Boys' House, with its own diningroom and workshops; Little Girls' House; and Little Boys' House). In that year, 15 children went from the mission to the Morawa Junior High School.
When it was surveyed by Wilson and Robinson in 1971, (Signposts 2004, p.409) there were 79 primary school children, eight high school children and 20 agricultural school students living at what was by that time known as 'Wandalgu'. Some of the children were transferred to the Pallottine Centre at Riverton for further education. Reports from child welfare authorities in 1979 indicate that children were referred to Wandalgu until it closed. These may be the children referred to in the State Solicitor's Office in Western Australia (Guide to Institutions Attended by Aboriginal People in Western Australia 2005, p.132) which says that children who were deemed to be 'neglected' or 'deprived' were also admitted to the mission, along with children who were boarding students.
By 1978, the mission had a swimming pool, church and recreation hall. In 1982, the Senior Girls' House was extended to include single bedrooms, new toilets and showers, a lounge room and small kitchen. The Ag School Boys' House was converted to accommodated High School boys. In 1984, the Junior High School Girls' House was also renovated, with a large bedroom being converted into smaller rooms and a small kitchen installed. In 1984, an Aboriginal Parents' Council was appointed and Aboriginal staff were sought. School instruction was given in Wajarri language. In 1997, the school was connected to the internet.
In December 2004, Wandalgu closed.
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
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
Pallotines, Records is a collection of records held by the Pallottines Centre. The collection has not been described in detail but there may be records for: Beagle Bay Mission, Bidyadanga, Oceanview, Pallottine Boys' Hostel, Pallottine Centre, Pallottine Mission, St Joseph's Hostel, Wirrumanu, and Wandering Mission.
The Archivist, Pallottines Centre
60 Fifth Ave, Rossmoyne WA 6148
Phone: (08) 9354 0208
Fax: (08) 9457 0344
[From the National Library of Australia's Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history project] David Plowman talks about his family background; being in hospital in Malta between (1941-1942); the Salesian Institution, coming to Australia; memories of his trip; the community of Tardun; his knowledge of Australia; his initial impressions of Perth; how over 50 percent of Maltese children were being reunited within two years; uniting with his mother in (1959); his mother sponsored by children working in Kanna, Mullewa and Geraldton; his brother's situation; the British migrant story being different to the Maltese; Maltese families exploiting system of migration; his concerns of reuniting with family; the sense of loss, rejection and anxiety; being homesick; his dormitory experiences; re-adjustment problems. Plowman speaks about cultural differences; Clontaft orphanage; being sent to Tardun farm school, near Mullewa and other institutions; impressions and memories of Tardun; Palatine Mission; Brother Doyle; who organised the migration; Tardun Old Boy Association; working with Christian Brothers Ex Residence Services (CBERS); unfortunate stories heard; his Maltese child migrant experience; family reunions; significant numbers of children not orphans; examples of problems with reunification; child migrant's issues; examples of Maltese situation; the government recognising its faults; monuments erected in Malta and Fremantle, Western Australia; how to deal with problems; Barnardos; helping people that can't move on; society reflecting the human condition; the Boat people.
National Library of Australia, Librarian, Information Services:
National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: (02) 6262 1266
Fax: (02) 6273 5081
09 July 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00173
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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