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Old Fairbridgians Association 50th Aniverssary Reunion program

Date: 26 March 1988
Overall: 310 × 215 mm, 36 g
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Robert Stephens
Object Name: Program
Object No: 00054494
Related Place:Australia,

User Terms

    This folder of Fairbridge instructions belonged to nine-year-old Robert Stephens, who travelled to Australia with the Fairbridge child migration scheme in 1952. Robert spent eight years undertaking farm training at the Fairbridge Farm School in Molong, near Orange, NSW.
    SignificanceThis folder reflects the ideals of the Fairbridge scheme as well as those of other child migration schemes, which was to develop rural areas with young labour. These schemes reflected Australia's broader immigration policies in the early 20th century, namely the government's desire to bolster the population with 'good British stock' and the building of a White Australia.
    HistoryBetween 1913 and 1967, more than 7,000 British children were sent to Australia by charities such as Fairbridge, Barnardo's, and the Salvation Army. The Fairbridge Farm School in Molong NSW (opened 1937) was one of three farm training schools established under Fairbridge principles in Australia. South African philanthropist Kingsley Fairbridge aimed to alleviate the plight of British slum children by sending them to farm schools in the colonies. The idea was to remove children from impoverishment, while simultaneously developing remote rural areas of the British empire with young white labour.

    Supported by the Western Australian government, Kingsley and his wife Ruby established the first Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra, south east of Perth in 1913. Fairbridge died in 1924, but the scheme continued. Children lived in cottages under a cottage mother, attended local state schools until they were 14, and then spent 12-18 months training in farm work on the property.

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