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Migrant Children MemorialPrint Page Print this page

17-April-2014
17-April-2014

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

A memorial commemorates the British and Maltese girls and boys who left their country to find a new life in Western Australia.   

Life-size bronze statue of a young boy and girl carrying all their worldly possessions in a small suitcase apiece serves as a perpetual reminder of the experiences of nearly 3,000 unaccompanied children who were shipped to Western Australia from Britain and Malta over a period spanning more than 50 years. The memorial to honour the memory, and the contribution to Western Australian society and history, of former child migrants was launched on Human Rights Day (10 December) 2004 by the West Australian Minister for Community Development, the Honourable Sheila McHale.

Between 1947 and 1953 over 3200 children migrated to Australia under approved schemes. About 100 of them were Maltese while the remainder came from the United Kingdom. Other European countries were asked if they would like to participate in the child migration scheme but declined. Over 30 homes were approved by the Commonwealth for the housing of child migrants. Most of these were run by voluntary and religious organisations. It was not government policy to provide homes specifically for migrant children; however, the government did contribute towards the capital expenditure incurred by these organisations in setting up suitable homes. Both the Commonwealth and State governments contributed towards running costs. The governments of the United Kingdom and Malta also paid maintenance for their children who had emigrated to approved institutions in Australia.

Location

Address:Slip Street, Victoria Quay, Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle, 6160
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.054281
Long: 115.739317
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Settlement
Monument Designer:Charles Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 10th December, 2004
Front Inscription

Plaque 1 :

This memorial is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australia and is dedicated to the Maltese boys and girls who left their homeland to brave an unknown future in Western Australia

Hardships were endured, benefits were derived

These child migrants provided valuable contributions to Australian society in diverse ways as parents, workers, and citizens.

Australia is better for their coming.

Plaque 2 :

This memorial is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australia and is dedicated to the British boys and girls who left their homeland to brave an unknown future in Western Australia

Hardships were endured, benefits were derived

These child migrants provided valuable contributions to Australian society in diverse ways as parents, workers, and citizens.

Australia is better for their coming.

Plaque 3 :

"Commemorative sculpture to the Migrant Children"

Completed & Dedicated : 2005

Sculptors : Charles Smith & Joan Walsh-Smith

Commissioned : Department of
Community Development W. A. 

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