La Grange Mission, 200 kilometres south of Broome, was established on 1 January 1955 when the La Grange Bay Ration Depot was transferred from the Department of Native Welfare to the Pious Society of Missions (Pallottines) for a mission. It was intended to train and employ Aboriginal youth and adults on a self-sustaining station.
In 1957, the Sisters of St John of God came to La Grange to teach at the school and from 1959, lay missionaries also helped in the school, hospital and on the mission generally. In 1960 the school was handed over to the Education Department.
Children at La Grange were under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Native Welfare until 1963.
In 1968 there were 250 people at the mission, with around half of them under 16 years old.
The Department for Community Welfare (DCW) took over the child welfare responsibilities of the Department of Native Welfare in 1972 and the Annual Reports of the DCW show that a boys' hostel was built in 1974, and there were renovations to the recreation centre, water supply and other facilities in the following years.
By 1982, the La Grange Aboriginal community was moving towards independence and in 1984 the Bidyadanga Aboriginal Community Inc took control.
21 July 2023
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00031
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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