Cundeelee was established by the Australian Aborigines' Evangelical Mission (AAEM) in 1949, reportedly to discourage Aboriginal people from 'begging' on the trans-Australian railway line. From around 1939 to 1948 there had been a government 'feeding depot' for Aboriginal people on the site. When the AAEM offered to establish a mission, they were actively encouraged by the Department of Native Affairs.
In 1952, a sandalwood licence was issued to Cundeelee, and youth and men from the mission worked on the 'Sandalwood Project' as it was known in the Department of Native Affairs. A photograph taken in 1957 has a caption that states Aboriginal youth were being paid for collecting sandalwood.
By the early 1980s, the Cundeelee property was vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust and was later leased to Upurl Upurlia Ngurratja.
13 September 2017
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00066
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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