Wollaston was a Home in Bunbury that was run in 1973 by the Roelands Native Mission Farm and then, from 1975, by the Churches of Christ Federal Aborigines Mission Board Inc. It accommodated up to five Aboriginal children from Roelands Village while they went to school or training in Bunbury. Wollaston later accommodated young people aged 12-16 years and was run by the Departments for Community Welfare (1984-85) Community Services (1985-92) and Community Development (1992-95). By the mid-1990s Wollaston was no longer used for out of home 'care'.
Wollaston was located in Wollaston Crescent, Bunbury. It was purchased by the Department for Community Welfare in 1973 and was run by officials from the Roelands Native Mission Farm until 1975, when the Churches of Christ Federal Aborigines Mission Board Inc took over the management of Wollaston as part of its Roeland Village activities.
Wollaston could accommodate up to five children and it appears to have been used for different purposes at different stages. In the 1970s, young Aboriginal people attending school or training in Bunbury came to live at Wollaston from Roelands. In the 1980s, when Wollaston was run by the Department for Community Services, young people aged 12-16 years from Bunbury, Collie, Manjimup and Busselton were admitted to Wollaston.
Wollaston seems to have experienced local opposition throughout its history. Departmental files show that the Bunbury press reported community opposition to Aboriginal children living at Wollaston in 1974. In 1988, when the Department planned to use Wollaston as a Youth and Family Support Centre, there was again local opposition reported in the Bunbury press. Local residents protested about the Department's intention to locate 'troubled youth' in their community.
By 1995, the Department recommended using the Wollaston property for staff quarters and the property was sold in 2003.
Departmental records for children placed by the Department of Community Welfare or the Department of Native Welfare may exist. Additionally, the Department for Child Protection and Family Support's Aboriginal Index should be consulted for information.
Thousands of photos taken at the Churches of Christ Mission centres and hostels have been preserved, and identified where possible. Requests for photographs should be made through Global Mission Partners.
According to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the State Records Office in Western Australia 'holds extensive records relating to missions.' The Department for Aboriginal Affairs in Western Australia may also hold records or other information.
Students who were resident at Wollaston may have been Commonwealth Secondary Grant recipients. The National Archives of Australia may hold records relating to people who received these grants.
While access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Sources used to compile this entry: To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal Lives Under Control [website], 2010, https://aiatsis.gov.au/collection/featured-collections/remove-and-protect; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'Wollaston', 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; Wollaston [Image], Date: 1980 - 1984; Interview conducted by Debra Rosser with Avon and Deslee Moyle, Duncraig, on 15 April 2014 regarding Wollaston.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 28 January 2015