Neerkol Orphans Memorial Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Hannelore Worrall

Memorial gates from the former Neerkol Orphanage commemorate those who were placed in institutionalised care; especially the 4000 who passed through this orphanage. Many were sent from English orphanages to Australia and some were victims of abuse.

A former resident, Hannelore Worrall was instrumental in planning and organising the construction of the memorial several hundred metres away from the original gates that lead to the Neerkol Orphanage.  The memorial was constructed using bricks and a metal sign from the original gates and contains two plaques, one for the British Child Migrants and one for other children who spent time at Neerkol.

The memorial was officially opened and dedicated by Leneen Forde and Minister Gary Hardgrave.

 "Meteor Park" was a station property at Neerkol outside Rockhampton, Queensland, acquired by the Bishop of Rockhampton, Dr Cani, in the early 1880s. It was to become an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy. The first group of children is said to have moved there from the state orphanage in May 1885. From the late 1940s, Meteor Park Orphanage was known as St. Joseph`s Home, Neerkol.

Over the years "Meteor Park" or "Neerkol" was "home" to more than 4000 children. It closed as an orphanage in 1978. Compensation claims were settled on behalf of more than 70 former residents of the Neerkol Orphanage who suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse.



Address:Capricorn Highway & Power Station Road, Near site of Neerkol Orphanage, Kabra, 4702
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -23.483442
Long: 150.353555
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event STart Date:11-April-1885
Actual Event End Date:5-March-1978


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 5th August, 2003
Front Inscription

St. Joseph`s Home

Left Side Inscription

This memorial was opened by Mrs Leneen Forde AC on 5th August 2003, and is dedicated to the Children of Neerkol - St Joseph`s Orphanage - Home.

Over 4000 children passed through these gates between 11 April 1985 when the first 11 children arrived, to its closure on 5 March 1978.  It is our wish that in creating this Neerkol Memorial not one baby, little child, young adult or Neerkol worker will ever be forgotten.

"In our souls today this is a new beginning"

Right Side Inscription

Dedicated to the English boys and girls who left the security of their Birmingham and Middlesex Orphanages in 1951 to a brave and unknown future at Neerkol – St Joseph’s Orphanage”.

They endured many hardships but derived some benefits from their new life, so far removed from that previously experienced.   These children moved on to make their contributions to Australian society in diverse ways as parents, workers and citizens.

This memorial is jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government and the community of Rockhampton.  

"Our nation is better for their coming."

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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