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Western Australia - Organisation

Holy Child Orphanage (1941 - 1962)

  • Sisters and Working Girls with their young charges in front of the newly opened orphanage building, 1941

    Sisters and Working Girls with their young charges in front of the newly opened orphanage building, 1941, 2013, courtesy of Kimberley Community Profile Issue 3, June 2013.
    Details

From
1941
To
1962
Categories
Catholic, Home and Orphanage
Alternative Names
  • HCO (acronym)

The Holy Child Orphanage was established in Broome by the Sisters of St John of God in 1941. It was a Home for school-aged Aboriginal girls and young women up to 20 years of age placed by relatives or the Department of Native Affairs. Holy Child closed in December 1962.

Details

The Holy Child Orphanage was established by the Sisters of St John of God in 1941, in Broome. School-aged Aboriginal girls and young women who were working were accommodated there. Girls and young women were placed by their families and by the Department of Native Affairs.

From 1942 to 1945, during World War II, Holy Child Orphanage moved to Beagle Bay, as Broome had been declared a military town and women and children were not permitted to live there.

School children attended St Mary's School in Broome. They wore blue uniforms and were known as the 'blue army' by people seeing them march to and from school.

The Holy Child Orphanage closed in December 1962.

Events

March 1941 - 1962
Location - The Holy Child Orphanage was located near the Barker Street Convent in Broome. Location: Broome

Run By

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

Publications

Books

  • Choo, Christine, Mission girls : Aboriginal women on Catholic missions in the Kimberley, Western Australia, 1900-1950, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, Western Australia, 2001. Vivid memories of life at Holy Child Orphanage are included at pp.138-140, and there is general historical information on pp.136-137. Details
  • Lockyer, Betty (Elizabeth), Last Truck Out, Magabala Books, Broome, Western Australia, 2009. Details

Reports

  • Western Australia. Child Welfare Department, Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Department, Perth [W.A.], 1928-1972. Details

Online Resources

Photos

A big photo album: the archive of the Sisters of St John of God
Title
A big photo album: the archive of the Sisters of St John of God
Type
Video
Date
24 December 2010
Source
Ben Collins, ABC Kimberley

Details

Sisters and Working Girls with their young charges in front of the newly opened orphanage building, 1941
Title
Sisters and Working Girls with their young charges in front of the newly opened orphanage building, 1941
Type
Image
Date
2013
Source
Kimberley Community Profile Issue 3, June 2013

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Holy Child Orphanage - Lifelong friendships', in Catholic Diocese of Broome [website], June 2013, http://broomediocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/KCP-2013-03.pdf; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'Operating dates published in Signposts relied upon source material that was inaccurate, pp.244-245, Table 17: Female Wards at the Holy Child Orphanage, Broome, 1959-1963', 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; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, 'p.60', 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.

Prepared by: Debra Rosser