Gerald Mission was established in 1851 when the government granted the Wesleyan Reverend John Smithies land to relocate the Wanneroo Native School to more arable land in York. Aboriginal adults and children from Wanneroo relocated there. In 1854 the government took over the administration, and in 1855 Gerald Mission closed.
The Wanneroo Native School had struggled with sickness and poor farming land, which prompted Governor Fitzgerald to grant more arable land in York. However, illness and deaths persisted there in 1851 and Aboriginal parents removed their children. Abscondings were common as many children ran away to rejoin their families in the Perth and Fremantle areas. In 1854, the government took over the administration of the mission but illnesses and poor economic outcomes resulted in its closure in 1855.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 18 March 2013, Last modified: 15 April 2014