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Media release

Historical photo, Circa 1916 showing Aboriginal people gathering at the Carrolup Settlement for food distribution

Photo: Food distribution gathering at Carrolup Settlement, ca. 1916. BA368/5/36, State Library of Western Australia.

Located near Katanning in the Great Southern region, Carrolup was one of a number of institutions established in Western Australia where Aboriginal people of all ages were removed to under past government policies.

Initially conceived in 1915 as a self-supporting enterprise for the housing, education and employment of Aboriginal people, the failure to achieve these objectives together with the establishment of the Moore River Settlement in the Moora district led to the closure of the settlement seven years later.

During this period, more than 400 people are known to have passed through the settlement, where children were placed in a fenced compound and adults were forced to work for little or no pay.

The task of creating the database was undertaken by DLGSC’s Aboriginal History Western Australia team in collaboration with Yorgum Healing Services.

The new database will assist people who are seeking more information about their ancestry, as well as those with an interest in learning about Western Australia’s shared history.

“The forcible removal of Aboriginal people from their families and communities onto missions, reserves, and government-run settlements such as Carrolup is a harsh reality of our shared history,” said Lanie Chopping, DLGSC Director General.

“Western Australia has the largest number of removals nationally and today, has the largest numbers of Stolen Generations descendants.

“National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generation Survivors and their descendants and to reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process. While we cannot change the past, we can acknowledge it with projects and initiatives such as this which help ensure our Aboriginal history is not lost and is available for current and future generations.

“I encourage anyone with an interest in furthering their understanding to contact the Aboriginal History WA team at DLGSC for assistance. In addition to its many truth-telling projects, the Unit provides a family history research service for those interested in learning about their ancestry.”

More information about the Carrolup Settlement

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Page reviewed 27 February 2023