The United Aborigines Mission (UAM) was established in Western Australia in 1929 as a successor to the Australian Aborigines' Mission (AAM). The UAM ran a number of missions and hostels around Western Australia. In October 2019, Sharrock Pitman Legal Pty Ltd, a legal firm based in Melbourne, advised the Find & Connect web resource that the United Aborigines Mission and UAM Ministries were in the process of being wound up. As of February 2020, UAM Ministries remained a registered charity, last reporting to the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission in September 2019.
The AAM became the United Aborigines Mission (UAM) in 1929. The AAM and the UAM were founded on a 'belief in the superiority of western culture' and this belief influenced how the missionaries interacted with Aboriginal people and caused them to comply with oppressive government policies. However, these missionaries shared the 'poverty and marginalisation' experienced by Aboriginal people and resulted in the conversion of some Aboriginal people and the formation of an evangelical Indigenous church.
The United Aborigines Mission was mentioned in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) as an institution that housed Indigenous children removed from their families.
1908 - 1929 Australian Aborigines' Mission
1929 - 2019? United Aborigines Mission
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; 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. p.7.; Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission, 'U.A.M. Ministries' Charity details, ABN 13062042951 (website accessed 14 February 2020).
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 14 February 2020