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Organisation St Mary's Home for Children (1947 - 1975?)
- Anglican, Care Provider and Mission Dormitory
- Alternative Names
- Mount Blatherskite Hostel (former name)
- Mount Blatherskite Institution (Also known as)
- St Mary's Church of England Home (Also known as)
- St Mary's Hostel (Also known as)
Please note that this page reproduces the original language used in the historical sources drawn upon to compile this entry. This language includes offensive and derogatory terms which are today considered unacceptable. We apologise for any offence caused by such language.
St Mary's Home for Children was the name given to the Mount Blatherskite Hostel in Alice Springs in 1947. However in government correspondence about the Home, it was still referred to as the Mount Blatherskite Institution as late as 1948. This Home continued to be run by the Australian Board of Missions.
Aboriginal children were placed in the Home by their parents or were committed to the Home by the Director of Native Affairs. The Home provided residential care and schooling.
In January 1949, the St Mary's took in a number of Aboriginal children returning from Mulgoa in New South Wales. These children had been evacuated from Church Missionary Society missions during the Second World War.
In 1948 the Australian Board of Missions reported to the government that the Home usually provided care for an average of 27 children. At that time a further dormitory was being built so that the Home could accommodate up to 50 children at one time.
In 1948, after lengthy negotiations, the Commonwealth government agreed to provide financial assistance to the Home. As part of these negotiations, the government outlined some of its wishes for the 'objects of the Institution'. These, listed in a 1948 report, included the following
1. To provide a home for the care and upbringing of all half-caste children committed to the institution. These will be for the most part unsupported half-castes from aboriginal camps.
2. To provide accommodation for half-caste children from rural areas, whose parents are in a position to send them to school in Alice Springs.
3. To accommodate girls and boys after school leaving age during training or apprenticeship, and whilst in employment in Alice Springs.
The report also specified that the staff for the Home should include a Superintendent, a nurse trained in child welfare, a married couple, a cook and a farm supervisor. The government also 'considered that the institution should be controlled on the dormitory system' with 4 dormitories - nursery, infant, primary and senior.
- St Mary's Home for Children situated at Alice Springs. Location: Alice Springs
1946 - 1948 Mount Blatherskite Hostel
1947 - 1975? St Mary's Home for Children
Records Managed by
- Boyce, James, For the Record: Background Information on the Work of the Anglican Church with Aboriginal Children and Directory of Anglican Agencies providing residential care to children from 1830 to 1980, Anglicare Australia, Melbourne, 2003. Details
- 'Lady Gowrie Hostel At Alice Springs', The Advertiser (Adelaide), 27 March 1946, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48697838. Details
- Briscoe, Gordon, Racial Folly - a twentieth century Aboriginal family, ANUE Press and Aboriginal History Incorporated, Canberra, 2010, http://epress.anu.edu.au/apps/bookworm/view/Racial+Folly%3A+A+twentieth-century+Aboriginal+family/4631/upfront.xhtml. Details
- Commonwealth of Australia, Report on the Administration of the Northern Territory for the Year Ending 30th June, 1946, 1946, http://archive.aiatsis.gov.au/removeprotect/59205.pdf. Details
- Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander peoples - Matron in charge of St Mary's Church of England Hostel for children of mixed race at Alice Springs, NT [photographic image]
- Alice Springs
- Fitzpatrick, J
- Image no. : A1200, L13773
- National Archives of Australia
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Lady Gowrie Hostel At Alice Springs', The Advertiser (Adelaide), 27 March 1946, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48697838; Commonwealth of Australia, Report on the Administration of the Northern Territory for the Year Ending 30th June, 1946, 1946, http://archive.aiatsis.gov.au/removeprotect/59205.pdf; St Mary's Hostel - Alice Springs - Australian Board of Misisons - Institution for half-caste children, NAA: A431, 1950/694.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 28 January 2011, Last modified: 25 June 2012