The Drysdale River Mission was established by the Benedictines of New Norcia on 15 August 1908 in the Kimberleys in Western Australia. In 1937, the main 'mission station' was moved to Kalumburu, which had been an outstation of Drysdale River.
In 1926 it was reported that there were between 50 and 60 Indigenous people living permanently at the mission, including a number of children sent there by the Chief Protector of Aborigines, A. O. Neville.
By 1932 three Benedictine Sisters had arrived at the mission from New Norcia, their principle objectives being to run the hospital and provide education to the children of the mission. It was reported in 1934 that there were 10 children in attendance at the mission school.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Around Australia. The Far North: Drysdale River Mission', Western Mail, 28 October 1926, p. 42, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38027100; 'The Drysdale River Mission', The West Australian, 15 June 1932, p. 16, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32636602; 'Drysdale River Mission: Education of Children', The West Australian, 27 September 1934, p. 12, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32819257; Aboriginal People Being Taught the Sign of the Cross [altered from original title] [Image], Date: 1919; Alex Gollan, 'Drysdale River Mission: Some Interesting Facts', The W.A. Record, 27 December 1919, p. 7, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/212363335; 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. pp.64-66, 83-84.; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'Kalumburu', 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; National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, A Piece of the Story: A Research Project Undertaken by the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission and the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, November 1999, https://cssa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Piece-of-the-Story.pdf. p.131.; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, 'p.67', 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
Created: 4 March 2013, Last modified: 20 November 2018