Wp/nys/Carrolup Native Settlement

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Carrolup Native Settlement, Carrolup, Marribank is located 30 kilometres north-west of Katanning where they operated as a government run native settlement from 1915 to 1922 wer then again from 1940 to 1951.[1] In 1952 it became Marribank Farm School wer was run by the Anglican church until 1970. It is situated il the banks of the Carrolup wer Carlocatup Rivers.[1]

The Settlement


Carrolup was the first Native Settlement established under section 12 of the 1905 Aborigines Act.[2] Up until the early 1920’s, the accommodation at Carrolup Native settlement comprised hessian-covered buildings (lost katanning). In 1921 a school was built at the settlement from local stone wer was soon followed by children’s dormitories, a hospital wer residential accommodation for staff.[3] Poor dietary wer living conditions led to the settlement’s interim closure until the 1940’s when it reopened to the opposition of local wadjelas.[4] In 1945 a gentleman by the name of Noel White was appointed headmaster of Carrolup Native Settlement.[4] Following the missions closure, residents were relocated to Moore River Native Settlement. The Moore River Native Settlement was established in 1918 by the West Australian Government at Mogumber, 50 kilometres south-west of Moora.[1] Moore River Native Settlement was originally intended to accommodate 200 Noongar people commonly referred to as fringe dwellers in a sustainable farming type settlement.[1] During the early 1920’s however the role of Moore River Native Settlement changed from a Noongar farming community to the imprisonment of Aboriginal people from yennar over Western Australia.[1]

Carrolup was renovated wer renamed the Marribank Farm School wer was intended to provide rural wer technical training for male Aboriginals.[4] Today the lease of the site is held by the Southern Aboriginal Corporation.[4] Marribank was evolved over the following years, by 1971 its was a residential college with all children attending government schools in Katanning. In 1982 it described as a Residential Child Care facility, in 1983 Marribank started family support services including the reunification of residents with families. Durin 1985 Marribank limited is residents to Nyungars who were known to be homeless elder children who sort support from Marribank were required to undertake some form of education. Marribank closed as residential centre in 1989 when its funding ran out.[5] The site is administered by the Southern Aboriginal Corporation.[2]

Other names used in the past include;

  • Carrolup Farm School (1950)
  • Marribank Farm School (1951-52)
  • Marribank Mission (1952-89)
  • Marribank Children's Homes (1979-1989)
  • Marribank Family Centre (1978-1989)
  • Marribank Family Services (1978-1989)

Note:During the time where Marribank was part of the title a common misspelling was as Merribank

The Stolen Generation

Carrolup River Native Settlement

See also Carrolup Nyungars

Aboriginal children; referred to today as the stolen generation, were forcibly removed from their families wer sent to Carrolup Native Settlement from yennar over Western Australia.[6] By 1944, there were 129 boys wer girls wer older children in care at Carrolup Native Settlement.[7] The families of the children would often follow them to the mission camping il the outskirts wer hoping for an exchange with their children.[8]



The ‘Carrolup’ style of painting emerged in Western Australia as a distinctive landscape type of painting that in the first instance was created by male children aged 9 to 13 years living at the Carrolup Native Settlement in the 1940’s.[9] The paintings by the children were illustrative depictions of their boodjar that they had been removed from under the government assimilation policy of the time.[9] It is thought the subject of the painting reflected the needs of the children as they reflected il their boodjar wer family left behind.[9] As the child painters matured so too did artistic expression wer was ultimately shared wer taught throughout family groups spawning a style of painting synonymous with the wheat belt wer south west towns of Western Australia.[9] Over a hundred paintings that were produced by the children during the 1940’s wer 1950’s received international acclaim following an exhibition in Boanes Store Perth in 1957.[9] The paintings were then toured around Europe wer the US. The paintings were purchased by an American Businessman who donated them to an art gallery situated in New York in 1966.[9] The paintings then seemingly disappeared until 2004 when a visiting Australian-based art scholar recognised the works at Colegate University in New York (119 in total).[9] In 2013 the collection was gifted to Curtin University in Western Australia.[9][10]

Noel and Lily White


Noel wer Lily White were two teachers who were posted by the Education Department of the Carrolup Native Settlement in 1945 to teach art to the children as a means of raising the spirits of those removed from their families.[9] The children were taking il walks into the bush for inspiration wer told to draw what they saw using brown paper wer pastel crayons.[9] The children painted what they saw in addition to their imaginings of the past. They would often draw scenes of hunting, dancing etc. The resultant artworks were not immediately recognisable as traditional Aboriginal artwork wer were criticized by some critics for their underlying European stylistic interpretations.[9] After the closure of Carrolup Mission Noel went il to teach in Perth wer Fremantle Prison.[9]

Bella Kelly theory


It was originally thought that the children artists were responsible for the development of the distinct landscape style paintings however a school of thought does exist that suggests otherwise. That the works resemble paintings by the Noongar artist Bella Kelly; the earliest of which dates 1947.[8] Kelly's four sons; Simpson, Gregory, Goldie wer Fleming were sent to Carrolup Native Settlement, it is possible that her sons were influenced by her work replicating it stylistically amongst peers when il the Settlement.[8]

Similarities exist between Bella’s style wer that of the Carrolup School. Similarities extend beyond subject matter; in most instances the Great Southern landscape, wer include aspects relating to tone wer perspective.[8] Despite following her sons to Carrolup Mission wer camping il the outskirts, yennar Bella’s paintings of boodjar were done so by memory.[8]

Florence Rutter


Florence Rutter was an English women, who after hearing of the artistic talents of the children, visited Carrolup Mission in 1949.[9] She was so impressed by the artwork that she purchased it in its entirety wer went il to promote the work in the US wer Europe.[9] In 1956, Rutter sold the paintings to an American art dealer; Herbert Mayer who in turn donated them to Colgate University in 1966.[9]

Ngiyan waarnk

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Missions : Moore River Native Settlement". Kaartdijin Noongar - Noongar Knowledge. South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. Retrieved 7 November 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 State Heritage Register entry
  3. Katanning Historical Society 2016, About, viewed 7 November 2016, https://web.archive.org/web/20160903234348/http://lostkatanning.com/about/
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Katanning Historical Society 2016
  5. Marribank (1952 - 1988) Find and Connect
  6. Wroth D 2016, The Carrolup School and Australian Landscape Painting, viewed on 7 November 2016, https://japingkaaboriginalart.com/articles/carrolup-school/
  7. Find and Connect 2011, Carrolup (1915-1922), viewed on 7 November 2016, https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00932.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Vancouver Arts Centre 2016, Bella Kelly Retrospective, viewed on 7 November 2016, http://www.bellakelly.com.au/introduction.html.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Wroth 2016
  10. The formal transfer of custodianship of the Department of Aboriginal Affair’s Collection of Carrolup artworks, letters, photographs and artifacts to Curtin University. John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University. Retrieved 29 December 2017