History

History

Fairbridge Now

Fairbridge Western Australia Inc came into existence in 1983 and owns and operates Fairbridge Village Pinjarra. We work with young people at risk from throughout Western Australia, including young people with a disability, those with drug problems, those with mental health issues, refugee children, Aboriginal young people, children with cancer, those struggling with depression. Basically we work with any young person in need to support them to bring about positive sustainable change in their lives, their families and their community.

Whilst Fairbridge Western Australia Inc, is distinct from the Child Migration and the work associated with Fairbridge Society, today own and operate the heritage listed site on which they operated and continue with the  founder’s vision of wanting to provide young people in need with the support to enable them to reach their full potential.  Fairbridge Western Australia have brought this vision into 21st century context.

Fairbridge continue to support Old Fairbridgian’s wherever possible and value the contribution by the Old Fairbridgian’s Association, who run the museum within one of the buildings at Fairbridge Village, as well as hold a range of annual events and functions.

 

Fairbridge Then

At the age of 17, Kingsley Fairbridge visited his Grandmother in England and was distressed by the sight of poor children, grubby and exhausted from lack of fresh air and food.

At the age of 19, Fairbridge became the first Rhodes Scholar from South Africa to attend Oxford University.

In 1909, he established ‘The Child Emigration Society’ after addressing his fellow Rhodes Scholars at the Colonial Club, Oxford University.

On April 15, 1912, Kingsley and his wife, Ruby, arrived in Albany, Western Australia. They arrived in Pinjarra on July 16 of the same year and established the world’s first Fairbridge Farm School.

Who came?

Between 1913 and 1939, 1195 children came to Fairbridge under the care of the Fairbridge Society.

From 1949 until mid-1950, some 270 young people arrived at Fairbridge under the care of the State.

During the 1960s, many more boys and girls went through the Farm School under the single and two parent scheme. However, these young people were not under the care of the State or Fairbridge, but remained the responsibility of their parents.

The total number of children to come to Fairbridge under all schemes from January 1913 until March 1983 was 3580.

Old Fairbridgians Association

If Fairbridgians are interested in obtaining historical records and information for family connections contact the President:

PO Box 173
Pinjarra
Western Australia
email: fairbridgewa@gmail.com