Cosmo Newbery Mission, north-east of Laverton, was the new name given to the Cosmo Newbery Native Settlement when it was transferred to the United Aborigines Mission (UAM) by the Department of Native Affairs in December 1953. Until 1963, the Commissioners of Native Affairs and Native Welfare were the guardians of children placed at Cosmo Newbery. Cosmo Newbery Mission was run by the UAM until about 1973 when its use as a mission ceased. The mission land was vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust.
On 15 December 1953, Cosmo Newbery was transferred to the United Aborigines Mission from the Department of Native Affairs. The annual report of the Commissioner for Native Affairs (1954, p.15) shows that one young person described as a 'native delinquent' ward of the State and one other adult 'inmate' were resident at the 'institution' at the handover and it continued to serve as a 'depot for the issue of rations and clothing to indigent natives'.
The Commissioner of Native Welfare described Cosmo Newbery in his 1959 Annual Report (p.8), as a 'flourishing mission station'.
In the early 1960s a government school opened at Cosmo Newbery, so the children no longer had to travel to Mt Margaret Mission for schooling.
In the mid-1960s the UAM opened a pastoral training centre at Cosmo Newbery and some part-time employment for local Aboriginal people was offered. During the droughts of the 1970s, employment at the mission waned.
It is possible that Cosmo Newbery was transferred from the UAM to local Aboriginal control around 1973, as that is when the handover of the UAM's Mt Margaret mission occurred. Cosmo Newbery's land was vested in the Aboriginal Lands Trust.
1951 - 1953 Cosmo Newbery Native Settlement
1953 - 1973? Cosmo Newbery Mission
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Longworth, Alison, Was it worthwhile?, An historical analysis of five women missionaries and their encounters with the Nyungar people of south-west Australia, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 2005, http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/163/2/02Whole.pdf. pp.298-299.; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, 'pp.33-34', Guide to Institutions Attended by Aboriginal People in Western Australia, Government of Western Australia, 2005, http://web.archive.org/web/20140126131607/http://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/lantu/MediaPublications/Documents/Guide-to-Institutions-attended-by-Aboriginal-people-in-WA-2005.pdf; 'Western Australia Protectors Reports 1899-1959', in To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal Lives Under Control [website], Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Library of Australia, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/western-australia. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Affairs 1954, p.15; Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Welfare 1959 p.8..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 21 April 2016