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Organisation Holy Child Orphanage (1890? - 1970?)
- Care Provider, Catholic, Orphanage and Stolen Generations
- Alternative Names
- Aboriginal Girl's Hostel (possibly also known as)
- St John of God Home for Native Girls (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.
Holy Child Orphanage provided residential child care to orphaned girls and girls removed from their families by Native Affairs aged from 0 to 20 years. It was managed by the Sisters of St John of God (1940-1962) and the Roman Catholic Church was its sponsoring agency.
[Taken from the Western Australian guide Signposts:]
Sponsoring Agency: Sisters of St John of God (1940-1962). The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website shows the Roman Catholic Church as the governing body for the Holy Child Orphanage, though the dates given for operation far exceed those identified by the Sisters of St John of God. However, "A Piece of the Story", the National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families
www.catholicwelfare.com.au/publications also reports that a home for "native girls" was established in Broome in the 1890's, not giving the name of the Order who ran it.
A history of the Sisters of St John of God in Australia is being compiled. Enquiries about this book should be directed to the Sisters via the contact details below.
"A Piece of the Story", the National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families [www.catholicwelfare.com.au/publications] reports that the girls, once completing primary school, either stayed at the Orphanage to learn domestic skills or were transferred to hostel type accommodation near the convent to acquire them there. "Girls stayed with the Sisters until they married or
returned to their families."
The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website shows the operating years for the Holy Child Orphanage in Broome being from 1912 to 1970, but "A Piece of the Story" records a home for "native girls" at Broome from the 1890's. According to "A Piece of the Story", the national directory of Catholic residential services, Holy Child Orphanage closed in 1962. As admissions and discharges were reported in the Department' of Child Welfare's Annual Report of 1963, the closure must have occurred between July and December - possibly at the end of the 1962 school year.
A limited chronology is included in Table 17.
Photographs may be held by the Sisters and others.
According to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website, the State Records Office in Western Australia 'holds extensive records relating to missions.'
For Native Welfare Department Records, contact the Department for Community Development to gain assistance in accessing various records held on children who were members of the Stolen Generations.
While access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Holy Child Orphanage, c/o Sisters of St John of God,
PO Box 473, Wembley
Phone: (08) 9213 3600
Fax: (08) 9322 1471
Freedom of Information
Department for Child Protection
PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892
Phone: (08) 6217 6388 or (08) 6217 6381
Fax: (08) 9222 2776
Free call in WA: 1800 000 277
For general information relating to missions:
State Records Office, Alexander Library Building James St West Entrance
Perth WA 6000.
Search Centre: GroundFloor Mon-Fri:9.30am-4.30pm
Phone: (08) 9427 3600
Fax: (08) 9427 3368
- 1890? - 1970?
- Holy Child Orphanage was located in Broome. Location: Broome
- Western Australia. Child Welfare Department, Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Department, Perth [W.A.], 1929-1972. Details
- Bringing Them Home: The 'Stolen Children' Report (1997), 2011, http://www.hreoc.gov.au/social_justice/bth_report/index.html. Details
- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies [website], http://aiatsis.gov.au/. Details
- Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, http://www.signposts.communitydevelopment.wa.gov.au/. Details
- National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, A Piece of the Story: A Research Project Undertaken by the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission and the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, November 1999, http://catholicsocialservices.org.au/system/files/preface.pdf. Details
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, http://www.signposts.communitydevelopment.wa.gov.au/.
Prepared by: Anna Trengove and Leanne Howard
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 27 August 2012