Fairbridge, Western Australia

Last updated

Fairbridge Village
Fairbridge church.jpg
Fairbridge Chapel, located in the village, designed by Sir Herbert Baker
Location
Fairbridge, Western Australia

Australia
Coordinates 32°35′59″S115°56′44″E / 32.59972°S 115.94556°E / -32.59972; 115.94556 Coordinates: 32°35′59″S115°56′44″E / 32.59972°S 115.94556°E / -32.59972; 115.94556
Information
Other names
  • Fairbridge Farm
  • Fairbridge School
TypeFormer Farm School for migrant children
Established1912
Founder Kingsley Fairbridge
StatusCurrently used for education, school camps, and tourism purposes
Official nameFairbridge Farm School
TypeState Registered Place
Designated2 June 1998
Reference no. 1762

Fairbridge, Western Australia is a former farm school near Pinjarra in south west Western Australia. It is now used predominantly for education, school and community camps and tourism purposes.

Contents

History

On 15 April 1912, Kingsley Fairbridge and his wife Ruby Fairbridge arrived in Albany, Western Australia, from England and made their way to Pinjarra, arriving on 16 July that same year to establish the world's first Fairbridge Farm School. [1] The school opened on 19 October 1912. Kingsley wanted to see "little children shedding the bondage of bitter circumstances and stretching their legs and minds amid the thousand interests of the farm." [2]

Child migration

From 1913 until 1982, Fairbridge Farm School was home to a total of 3,580 children [3] who came to Fairbridge under various child migration schemes. The school provided education in task-learning, husbandry, metal work and wood work. During World War II, Dutch refugee children evacuated from Indonesia were based at Fairbridge while waiting to be reunited with their families. During the same period, the site was also used as a training ground for the Women's Land Army, and Guildford Grammar School partially relocated there while their school was used as a hospital base. [4] An airfield was constructed and operated from the school during the Second World War until the 1950s.

The Australian Heritage Commission commented, when announcing the listing of Fairbridge on the Interim List of the Register of the National Estate in December 1997 that "Fairbridge is a striking example of Australia’s early philanthropic movement to resettle and educate migrant children." The Chair of the Heritage Commission at the time, Wendy McCarthy stated that "'by entering Fairbridge in the Interim List of the Register of the National Estate, we are not only recognising the efforts of this philanthropist, Kingsley Fairbridge, but also its role in a significant phase in Australia’s migration history. From 1912 until 1980 Fairbridge Pinjarra played a significant role in the development of the British Empire and Australian migration history on child, single parent and family migration schemes. [5]

Forgotten Australians

Many of the child migrants were falsely told that they were orphans and consequently never saw their families again. [6] In 1986, the first Australian child migrant approached the British Government to seek reparation. The approach eventually led to the establishment of the Child Migrant Trust in 1987. [7] The Australian Government apologised for its involvement in the scheme, and in 1998 the Western Australian Government apologised to the former child migrants: "The Western Australian Government apologises to former child migrants who suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the state's institutions". The following year the Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and Poor Sisters of Nazareth launched a computerised personal history index to the records of former child migrants.

On 24 February 2010, United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a formal apology to the families of children who suffered. [8] [9] On 31 January 2019, the UK Government announced that following the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which handed down its report in May 2018, the UK Government would make an ex-gratia payment of GB£20,000 to any former British child migrant who was alive on 1 March 2018, or if alive as at that date and since deceased, the payment would be made to the deceased's beneficiaries. [10]

In July 2020, it was reported that the Australian Government had named Fairbridge Restored Limited as one of six institutions that had failed to sign up for the National Redress Scheme by the June 30 deadline. [11] In November 2020, The Guardian reported that Fairbridge Restored Limited was dormant and under administration, and that the administrator, Chris Laverty, had claimed that insolvency law in the UK meant Fairbridge was unable to comply with the redress scheme criteria. [12]

Royal visitors to Fairbridge

Fairbridge was visited by the Duke and Duchess of York in 1927; Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1964; and Prince Charles in 1979. [13]

Fairbridge Chapel

The chapel is the only building in Australia designed, and with construction overseen by noted British architect Sir Herbert Baker. Described as "the architectural jewel in the crown" of Fairbridge Village, the chapel was built in 1930–31 by the Western Australian Government with construction funded by British interests. [14]

Current use

Fairbridge Western Australia Inc. was established as a charity in 1983 and owns and operates Fairbridge Village. The organisation runs programs and services for young people including an independent school, registered training organisation, school and community camps. Fairbridge work closely with local employee Alcoa providing traineeships to youth from the local community.

As a not for profit organisation all surplus funds are invested to provide opportunities for youth.

The 30-hectare (74-acre) Village is run as a training facility for young people and as a tourist destination providing visitors with accommodation, catering and activities in its historic surroundings. It is the only Fairbridge Farm School site remaining out of the eight that were originally built around the world.

Fairbridge offers historical tours and activities. It has a number of buildings which are used as conference and function venues and a coffee shop featuring local artworks.

Fairbridge Village consists of 55 heritage listed buildings and ten newer buildings. [15] The Village also has a chapel, dining hall, single and double storey cottages, training and sporting facilities. Accommodation can hold 370 people. There are 23 different self-contained cottages that sleep from 2 to 56 people.

Guests staying at the village have access to a 30-metre (98 ft) swimming pool, full sized sporting oval, tennis, beach volleyball, mini golf, art gallery and museum.

Fairbridge was WA Tourism Award's Silver Medallist 2006 and 2007.

See also

Related Research Articles

Scheyville National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Scheyville National Park is a protected national park that is located in the northwestern suburbs of Sydney in New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 920-hectare (2,300-acre) national park is situated approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of the Sydney central business district, northeast of Windsor, near the settlement of Scheyville. Longneck Lagoon lies in the northern section of the park. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 9 April 2010.

Home Children

Home Children was the child migration scheme founded by Annie MacPherson in 1869, under which more than 100,000 children were sent from the United Kingdom to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. The programme was largely discontinued in the 1930s, but not entirely terminated until the 1970s.

Herbert Baker

Sir Herbert Baker was an English architect remembered as the dominant force in South African architecture for two decades, and a major designer of some of New Delhi's most notable government structures. He was born and died at Owletts in Cobham, Kent.

Pinjarra, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Pinjarra is a town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 82 kilometres (51 mi) from the state capital, Perth and 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-east of the coastal city of Mandurah. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2016 census, Pinjarra had a population of 4910.

Bindoon, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Bindoon is a town 84 kilometres (52 mi) from Perth city on the Great Northern Highway within the Shire of Chittering. The name Bindoon is thought to be Aboriginal in origin and to mean "place where the yams grow". The name has been in use in the area since 1843 when an early settler, William Brockman, named the property he had surveyed as Bindoon. The townsite was gazetted in 1953.

Ten Pound Poms

Ten Pound Poms is a colloquial term used in Australia and New Zealand to describe British citizens who migrated to Australia and New Zealand after the Second World War. The Government of Australia initiated the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme in 1945, and the Government of New Zealand initiated a similar scheme in July 1947. The Commonwealth arranged for assisted passage to Australia on chartered ships and aircraft.

David Hill is an English-born Australian business leader and author.

Margaret Humphreys

Margaret Humphreys, is a British social worker and author from Nottingham, England. She worked for Nottinghamshire County Council operating around Radford, Nottingham and Hyson Green in child protection and adoption services. In 1986 she received a letter from a woman in Australia who, believing she was an orphan, was looking to locate her birth certificate so she could get married.

Post-war immigration to Australia Large-scale migration after WWII

Post-war immigration to Australia deals with migration to Australia in the decades immediately following World War II, and in particular refers to the predominately European wave of immigration which occurred between 1945 and the end of the White Australia policy in 1973. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Ben Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia (1945–1949), established the federal Department of Immigration to administer a large-scale immigration program. Chifley commissioned a report on the subject which found that Australia was in urgent need of a larger population for the purposes of defence and development and it recommended a 1% annual increase in population through increased immigration.

Kingsley Fairbridge

Kingsley Ogilvie Fairbridge was the founder of a child emigration scheme from Britain to its colonies and the Fairbridge Schools. His life work was the founding of the "Society for the Furtherance of Child Emigration to the Colonies", which was afterwards incorporated as the "Child Emigration Society" and ultimately the "Fairbridge Society".

Fairbridge may refer to:

Clontarf Aboriginal College Private, co-educational school in Waterford, Western Australia, Australia

Clontarf Aboriginal College is a co-educational Aboriginal college for indigenous youth aged between 15 and 18 years, located in the Perth suburb of Waterford in Western Australia. Since 2000 the college has also been the centre for the Clontarf Football Academy run by the Clontarf Foundation a program of Australian rules football for indigenous youth.

Tardun, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Tardun is a small town in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

Group Settlement Scheme

The Group Settlement Scheme was an assisted migration scheme which operated in Western Australia from the early 1920s. It was engineered by Premier James Mitchell and followed on from the Soldier Settlement Scheme immediately after World War I. Targeting civilians and others who were otherwise ineligible for the Soldiers' scheme, its principal purpose was to provide a labour force to open up the large tracts of potential agricultural land to ultimately reduce dependence on food imports from interstate. It was also seen by Australians as boosting the ideals of the White Australia policy by strengthening the Anglo-Australian cultural identity of Australia. High levels of post-war unemployment in Britain saw the UK Government seizing on the scheme as a way to reduce dole-queues. Over 6,000 people emigrated to Western Australia under the scheme which was funded jointly by the State, Federal and UK Governments.

Forgotten Australians is a contested term applied by some to the estimated 500,000 children and child migrants who experienced care in institutions or outside a home setting in Australia during the 20th century. The Australian Senate used the term specifically when reporting on its 2003–2004 "Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care".

Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre

The Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre was a camp set up for receiving and training migrants to Australia during the post World War II immigration boom. The camp was set on 130 hectares near Wodonga at the locality of Bonegilla in north east Victoria, between the Hume Dam and the city of Wodonga. The site was a former World War II Australian Army base, and is adjacent to the current Latchford Barracks. Before being requisitioned by the army, the site was originally a section of large pastoral land. The camp opened in 1947 and operated until 1971, over which period it received over 300,000 migrants. It is estimated that over 1.5 million Australians are descended from migrants who spent time at Bonegilla. Eric Bana's parents were both processed through Bonegilla. Other former residents include Karl Kruszelnicki, Franca Arena, Arvi Parbo, Les Murray, Susan Duncan and Raimond Gaita.

Castledare Boys Home

Castledare Boys' Home was a residential college in Wilson, Western Australia owned and operated by the Congregation of Christian Brothers from March 1929 to 1983 and established for the treatment and training of intellectually handicapped children. A 1929 newspaper article announcing the opening described it as a "training school for sub-normal boys". It opened with ten boys and under the directorship of Brother G. Hyland. The state psychologist, Ethel Stoneham, travelled to Europe and the United States to study similar institutions and was influential in the design of the home.

Sir Ernest Augustus Lee Steere was a prominent Australian businessman and pastoralist.

The Long Journey Home is an Australian TV documentary in which former child migrants relate their generally unhappy experiences as inmates of a Fairbridge school establishment at Molong, New South Wales. The script is largely based on an autobiographical book by David Hill, published in 2007. The documentary first went to air on ABC Television in November 2009, with Hill as one of the presenters. It included his report of allegations made by three former residents that the former distinguished governor-general Sir William Slim had sexually assaulted them and other young boys during visits to the Fairbridge farms.

Benalla Migrant Camp

The Benalla Migrant Camp, formally known as the Benalla Holding Centre and the Benalla Migrant Accommodation Centre, was one of 23 similar camps established by the Australian government to provide temporary housing for non-British new arrivals in post-World War II Australia. The Camp occupied the former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No.11 Elementary Flying Training School (1941-1944), adjacent to a small aerodrome on the outskirts of Benalla in north east Victoria. Opening in 1949, the Benalla Migrant Camp was a modest-sized holding centre, accommodating 200 – 400 people. It survived national reviews of migrant accommodation needs in 1953 and 1959, but by 1967, the number of residents had diminished sufficiently for the Camp to close. By that time, over 60,000 people — mainly of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, German and Estonian origins, as well as other nationalities — had been accommodated there.

References

  1. "Fairbridge, Kingsley Ogilvie (1885–1924)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Melbourne University Press. 8: 460. 1981.
  2. Fairbrdge, Kingsley. The Autobiography of Kingsley Fairbridge.
  3. Fairbridge, Ruby (1948). The Building of a Farm School. Perth, Western Australia: Paterson Press Ltd.
  4. "Fairbridge Farm, Pinjarra". Signposts - A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  5. Fairbridge Farm School (fmr). Perth: Heritage Council. 1998.
  6. Doherty, Vicki (2014). "Child Migration - the Lost Children". SS Asturias. Vicki Doherty. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. "Minutes of Evidence". Select Committee on Health, House of Commons . Parliament of the United Kingdom. 10 August 1998. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  8. "British Government apologises to former child migrants". Child Migration Timeline.
  9. Elliott, Tim (3 June 2011). "Stolen generation". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  10. "EX-GRATIA PAYMENT SCHEME FOR FORMER BRITISH CHILD MIGRANTS" (Press release). Child Migrant Trust. Government of the United Kingdom. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  11. Loney, Georgia (23 July 2020). "Former Pinjarra Fairbridge Farm School student Ric Hinch in National Redress Scheme push". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  12. McGowan, Michael (28 November 2020). "Dozens of child abuse claims remain from organisations refusing to sign on to national redress scheme". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  13. "Annual Reports 1917 to 1938". Fairbridge Farm Pinjarra. Oxford: Fairbridge Farm Schools - Child Emigration Society. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2009.
  14. Dolan, D.; Lewis, C. (2004). The Fairbridge Chapel. Sir Herbert Baker's Labour of Love. API Network, Australian Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology.
  15. "Welcome to Fairbridge". Fairbridge. 2016.

Further reading