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Western Australia - Organisation

Wanneroo Native School (1844 - 1851)

Farm School, Home, Methodist and Mission
Alternative Names
  • Adler Lake Farm (possibly also known as)
  • Galilalup Mission (also known as)
  • Gallillilup Mission (also known as)
  • Gulililup Mission (also known as)
  • Gullillilup Mission (also known as)
  • Wanneroo Mission (also known as)
  • Wonneroo Mission (also known as)

Wanneroo Native School, also known as Galililup Mission Farm (with various spellings) was established in 1844 by the Wesleyan (Methodist) Rev. John Smithies as a farm school to educate and train Aboriginal children aged 6-19 years, some of whom had come from the Native School in Perth when it closed. Wanneroo Native School relocated to Gerald's Mission in York in 1851.


When the Perth Native School closed in 1845, children were sent to Wanneroo. Boys stayed at Wanneroo all year, but the girls were sent back to Perth during the winter months. There were close ties between the Wanneroo Mission and the Fremantle Native School, and some marriages between young people at the Fremantle and Wanneroo have been recorded. The Annual Reports of the Protector of Aborigines indicate that a committee of management governed the activities of the mission, with Rev. Smithies as Director. The mission farm also seems to have been known as 'Galililup Mission Farm', with various spellings.

Older males were instructed and worked in farming and construction, and females in domestic labour. All were paid according to their age-group. During the years 1843 to 1845, people suffered sicknesses and deaths and there were 'severe floods' in 1847. The Annual Report of the 'Protector of Natives' in 1846 noted that there was 'an evident disinclination in the parents to commit their children to our charge' which he assumed was because of 'the mortality which carried off so many of our pupils' in 1844. In 1848, there were 13 males and 12 females at Wanneroo.

After inspecting the Wanneroo Native School in May 1850, Governor Fitzgerald saw that it was located on land that 'was notoriously unfit' for farming and undertook to find better land. The Guardian of Aborigines had previously said that the land was subject to flooding. It was reported that the mission would be located somewhere nearby but in fact the land granted was at York.

The name, 'Galililup Mission Farm' persisted, as a farm of that name and location was advertised for sale in 1860. Lake Goolleal continues to be part of a series of wetlands that permeate the northern corridor of the Swan coastal plain, and is surrounded by the suburbs of Woodvale and Kingsley.


1844 - 1851
Location - The Wanneroo Native School was located on 60 acres of land at Gullillilup, near Lake Goolleal, Wanneroo. Location: Wanneroo


 1840 - 1845 Perth Native School
       1844 - 1851 Wanneroo Native School
             1851 - 1855 Gerald Mission

Related Organisations

  • Fremantle Native School (1842 - 1851)

    There was a close relationship between the Fremantle and Wanneroo Native Schools, even though they were established under different religious banners.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'From the Government Gazette [Protector of Natives]', The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal, 23 January 1847, pp. 3-4,; 'Annual Reports of the Protectors of Aborinines [Aborigines]', The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 10 February 1849, p. 3,; 'The Native Institution [Wanneroo Native School]', Inquirer, 29 May 1850, p. 2,; 'Annual Reports of the Guardians of Aborigines', The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 7 February 1851, p. 1,; 'Classified Advertising [Mission Farm, Wanneroo]', The Perth Gazette and Independent Journal of Politics and News, 20 January 1860, p. 2,; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, 'p.138', Guide to Institutions Attended by Aboriginal People in Western Australia, Government of Western Australia, 2005,

Prepared by: Debra Rosser