Udialla Station was established south of Derby in 1944 as a government-run training facility for 'part-Aboriginal' people, including children under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Native Welfare. Udialla closed in 1949 and the residents were transferred to the La Grange Bay Feeding Depot.
Udialla Station was purchased by the Department of Native Affairs on a 'walk in - walk out basis' from Mr Darcy Ryder on 27 December 1944, according to the department's annual report in 1945 (p.8). However, the department did not immediately occupy Udialla, which continued to be worked by Mr Ryder. The purpose of Udialla as described in the 1945 annual report (pp.7-8) was to provide a 'Government institution' for the 'reception of coloured people as distinct from full-blood'. The government needed a 'modern type of institution' for the 'education and training of the Broome coloured people to other means of livelihood away from the pearling industry and its Asiatic influences'. Udialla Station was located on the south bank of the Fitzroy River, 93 kilometres from Derby and 209 kilometres from Broome. The property was around 1250 hectares in area with what the Commissioner for Native Affairs (p.8) described as 'mainly black soil of great fertility' which would be suitable for 'vegetable growing and for sheep raising' and thus 'the training of native children and natives generally'.
Udialla was closed by the government in 1949, and residents were transferred to the La Grange Bay Depot.
Sources used to compile this entry: 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, 'p.133', 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 1945, pp.7-8; Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Affairs 1949, p.12..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 12 December 2013, Last modified: 12 November 2018