Wotjulum, near Yampi, was established as a mission station by the Presbyterian Church in 1951, with people transferred from Kunmunya Station and the government station at Munja. Children at Wotjulum were under the guardianship of the Commissioners responsible for Aboriginal welfare. Wotjulum closed in 1956 and residents were transferred to Mowanjum, near Derby.
Wotjulum, near Yampi, was established as a mission station by the Presbyterian Church in 1951, with people transferred from Kunmunya Station and the government station at Munja. Children at Wotjulum were under the guardianship of the Commissioners responsible for Aboriginal welfare.
In his report to the Department of Native Affairs in 1952, the superintendent of Wotjulum reported that all school-age children undertook correspondence lessons 'under white supervision'. Older children were given 'technical training in carpentry, boatwork and engineering or stockwork' but this was 'not as thorough as was planned' due to staff shortages.
In February 1954, the WA government granted £3,800 to the Australian Presbyterian Board of Missions to upgrade and extend the facilities and equipment at Wotjulum.
In 1954, The Australian Women's Weekly carried a short report from Mrs Macmillan, who worked at Wotjulum and wrote that there were 23 children under 6 years of age. Three years earlier, there were only six in this age group. There was a Baby Health Centre on site, and missionaries had 'trained an aboriginal girl' to run it. Mother at Wotjulum could get 'baby oil, soap and boracic' at the Baby Health Centre and according to Mrs Macmillan, 'do everything we tell them to keep their babies healthy'. The baby clinic had been established in 1951, after a suggestion by Sister Garlick, from the Child Welfare Department.
On 25 September 1956 the Presbyterian Mission began transferring people from Wotjulum to a new site at Derby, called Mowanjum.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Grant Given To Presbyterian Native Mission', The West Australian, 15 February 1954, p. 16, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49617350; 'Worth Reporting [Wotjulum]', The Australian Women's Weekly, 3 February 1954, p. 30, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article41080441; 'Cabinet News [Wotjulum]', Sunday Times, 14 February 1954, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59685117; Jebb, Mary Anne, Mowanjum 50 years : community history, Mowanjum Aboriginal Community and Mowanjum Artists Spirit of the Wandjina Aboriginal Corporation, Derby, Western Australia, 2008. p.v.; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, 'p.147', 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 1951 p.27; Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Affairs 1952 p.36; Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Welfare 1959 p.9..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 9 December 2013, Last modified: 12 September 2014