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.
Fairbridge Village was originally owned and operated by Fairbridge Society which was an international charitable organisation who moved its operation out of Western Australia in the late 1970’s early 80’s. The Fairbridge Farm and the Village was sold to Alcoa of Australia and the Village was on sold to Fairbridge Western Australia Inc. The funds from the sale were sent back to the UK to support Fairbridge UK’s work with young people in the UK.
While Fairbridge Western Australia Inc did not have anything to do with Child Migration or the work associated with Fairbridge Society, today we own and operate the heritage listed site on which they operated.
This being the case today we continue to support Old Fairbridgian’s where ever we are able to and the Old Fairbridgian’s Association runs their museum within one of the buildings at Fairbridge Village and continues to hold a range of annual events and functions at Fairbridge Village.
Fairbridge Western Australia continues to operate on the founder’s vision of wanting to provide young people in need with the support to enable them to reach their full potential and we have brought this vision into the 21st century context.
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.
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.
During World War II
Guildford Grammar School students came to Fairbridge during World War II when their school was used as a military hospital.
Dutch children who had been trapped after the fall of the Dutch East Indies during World War II also stayed at Fairbridge.
During World War II the Women’s Land Army used Fairbridge as a training Depot.
More information on the famous heritage-listed Fairbridge Chapel.