Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home, located near Nowra, was established in 1908 by the United Aborigines Mission. It was a home for children aged under 10 and ran until 1980.
Bomaderry was started to receive seven Aboriginal children, six orphans and one baby rescued by Miss Thompson, a missionary working with Aboriginal people. A cottage was provided by Colebrook, the editor of the Bomaderry Mission's paper. The home developed until it had four cottages, the last of which was opened on 29 May, 1924. Up to 47 children were resident at the Home at any one time. In 1929, M.F. Morton, MLA. gave five acres of land to the home, bringing the total area of the property to nine acres.
Although Bomaderry was always independent of the Aborigines Protection (Welfare) Board, the Board sent children from reserves and stations to be cared for at the home. Once they reached the age of 10, children were returned to the care of the Board and were often sent into domestic service. The United Aborigines Mission continued their close relationship with the Aborigines Welfare Board until 1969 and then continued to work with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
Many of the original cottages have been lost, but cottages built from the 1960s to 1980s survive. The site has heritage listing and some buildings are used by the Nowra Land Council.
Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home was mentioned in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) as an institution that housed Indigenous children removed from their families.
Sources used to compile this entry: State archives relating to Aboriginal people, State Records NSW, 1998, http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/guides-and-finding-aids/archives-relating-to-aboriginal-people/state-archives-relating-to-aboriginal-people; Stolen Generations' Testimonies, Stolen Generations' Testimonies Foundation, 2012, http://www.stolengenerationstestimonies.com/; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp; Korff, Jens, 'Bomaderry', Creative Spirits, http://www.creativespirits.info/australia/new-south-wales/bomaderry; Lauder, Joanna, Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home listed on heritage register, 15 February 2013, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-14/bomaderry-aboriginal-children27s-home/3829812; New South Wales. Aborigines Protection Board (ed.), Report of the Board, Government Printer, 1881-1941. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-vn1447508; New South Wales. Aborigines Welfare Board, Annual report of the Aborigines Welfare Board for the year ended 1940, Government Printer, 1941; New South Wales. Aborigines Welfare Board (ed.), Annual report of the Aborigines Welfare Board for the year ended …, Government Printer, 1949-1968; Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880-1940, Department of History, University of New South Wales, 2007, 361 pp, http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:1369/SOURCE01?view=true; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 March 2011, Last modified: 12 September 2017