The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Carrieton, provided accommodation for Aboriginal children evacuated from the Northern Territory's Garden Point Mission, Melville Island, during World War II. The evacuees were funded by the government and cared for by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. In 1944, 34 girls and 7 boys from the Mission remained in Carrieton. In 1945 it was reported that all the children from the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Carrieton, had returned to the Northern Territory.
The Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the South Australian township of Carrieton, situated approximately 30km North of Orroroo, provided accommodation for Aboriginal children evacuated from the Northern Territory's Garden Point Mission, Melville Island, during World War II.
After the start of the War and the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese the organised evacuation of Aboriginal children who were considered at the time to be 'half-caste' or of 'mixed race' was implemented. The Convent at Carrieton was one of the places in South Australia to which Aboriginal children from the Northern Territory were sent. Others included the town of Hawker and the Aboriginal Welfare Institution set up at short notice at the Balaklava Racecourse. From NAA records it appears that no unaccompanied children were sent to Hawker.
It was reported in newspapers of the time that some 60 evacuees from Melville Island were being accommodated and 'educated' in Carrieton. Newspaper articles focussed on the musical achievements of the young people. In 1944 the children gave a concert at the neighbouring township of Hammond where the 'recorder quintet' was reported to be 'of particular note'.
NAA files on the Garden Point Mission show that by 1944, 34 girls and 7 boys remained in Carrieton.
As of Friday 1 June 1945 it was reported in newspapers that the all children who had been staying at the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Carrieton, had returned to Melville Island.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Evacuees of Many Nations Well Settled in South Australia', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), 30 June 1943, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48758481; 'Marian March's Topics: Service Welfare by C.W.A. Branches', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), Second to last paragraph includes reference to aboriginal evacuees housed in Carrieton., 8 September 1943, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48766397; 'RURAL REPORTS: Hammond', The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia), This article mentions Aboriginal children from Melville Island, living temporarily in Carrieton in South Australia, giving a concert in the nearby town of Hammond., 21 March 1944, p. 7, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48789472; 'THE LIFE OF MELBOURNE: Back on Melville Island', The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria), 30 June 1945, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article973639; George, Karen and Gary, 'Garden Point Mission (1941-1969)', in Find & Connect web resource, Find & Connect web resource project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nt/biogs/YE00003b.htm; NAA: F1, 1949/455 Roman Catholic Mission Garden Point - Part-Aboriginal 1944 - 1951.
Prepared by: Gary George and Karen George
Created: 20 November 2012, Last modified: 17 October 2018