On 25 September 1956 the Presbyterian Church began transferring people from Wotjulum to a new site called Mowanjum, at the head of the Coppermine Creek in Yampi Sound near Derby. The name, 'Mowanjum' means 'settled at last' and reflects the fact that the Worrorra, Wunambal and Ngarinyin peoples had been shifted around from place to place in response to changing government policies.
Until 1963, children at Mowanjum were under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Native Welfare.
In 1971, it was reported that 65 school-age children lived at Mowanjum, with 45 children going to the Primary School and 20 to the High School in Derby.
The Mowanjum Community Inc was established on 5 October 1972. From 1972 onwards children at Mowanjum were sometimes placed under the 'care' of the departments responsible for child welfare, and the government worked with the community to address issues such as truancy and youth drinking.
The community lived at the Mowanjum mission site until 1979, when they moved to a new site 10 kilometres from Derby along the Gibb River Road.
In government records, Mowanjum is spelled in various ways including Mowajum; Mowjum; Mawanjin; Mowanjup.
21 October 2022
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00154
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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