The first formal scheme of unaccompanied child migration to Western Australia occurred with the arrival of its first convicts. These convicts were juvenile offenders from Parkhurst Prison in England. In a nine year period from 1842, boys and young men (aged 12 to 21 years) were brought in to provide a source of cheap labour for settlers in the Colony.
The colonial government in Western Australia passed legislation and appointed a Guardian of Juvenile Immigrants in 1842. The first ship to arrive with former Parkhurst prisoners was the 'Simon Taylor', in August 1842.
Sources used to compile this entry: Chate, A.H; Graham, Bruce; Oakley, Glenda, Date it!: a Western Australian chronology to 1929, Friends of the Battye Library (Inc.), Northbridge, Western Australia, 1991; Hetherington, Penelope, Paupers, Poor Relief and Poor Housing in Western Australia 1829 to 1910, UWA Publishiing, Crawley, Western Australia, 2009; Steve Howell, 'Dead Reckoning', in State Library of Western Australia website, https://slwa.wa.gov.au/dead_reckoning/.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 18 January 2012, Last modified: 25 February 2016