Kahlin Aboriginal Compound MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren
The monument commemorates part aboriginal children who were separated from their parents and moved to the institution at Myilly Point.  A playground was established at the compound site and unveiled in 2021. 

Kahlin Compound was an institution for part-Aboriginal people in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia between 1913 and 1938. After 1924, "half-caste" children were separated from their parents and other adults and moved to an institution at Myilly Point.

In 1913 the Northern Territory Protector of Aborigines, anthropologist Walter Baldwin Spencer decided to solve what he called the "half-caste problem" by rounding up hundreds of Aboriginal children and removing them from the "native camp". The Kahlin Compound and Half Caste Home was established on Lambell Terrace at Myilly Point, overlooking Mindil Beach in Darwin. Spencer envisaged that the compound would be self-sufficient, providing housing, schooling and domestic training for each Aboriginal family. The whole compound was to be fenced with access for Aboriginal people and Departmental officials only. 

A 1923 Commonwealth parliamentary inquiry headed by the South Australian Senator John Newland included an investigation of conditions at the Compound. Newland recommended that it be moved to a site further from the town, but this did not happen (perhaps because the residents were a source of cheap labour).

A subsequent inquiry appointed by the NT Administrator also recommended the establishment of a new compound be established and also that "half-caste" children should be separated from adults, in a separate institution where they could be disciplined and integrated into the [white] community. The new "Half-Caste Home" was opened at Myilly Point in 1924, and most of the Kahlin children were moved there.

All residents were moved to the new Bagot Aboriginal Reserve in 1938. The Kahlin Compound closed in 1939 and was revoked as an Aboriginal Reserve on 3 July 1940.



Address:Kahlin Avenue, Larrakeyah, 0820
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.451469
Long: 130.82939
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1913
Approx. Event End Date:1938


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 3rd August, 2013
Front Inscription

This Monument Commemorates The Centenary Of The Establishment Of The Kahlin Aboriginal Compound One Hundred Years Ago.

On This Site Aboriginal Children Of Mixed Descent Were Forcibly Taken From Their Mothers, Land And Culture And Incarcerated In The Kahlin Half Caste Home Under Federal Government Policies.

The Larrakta People And Other Aboriginal Groups Were Forcibly Relocated To This Site Too.

The 100 Year Commemoration Recognised And Honours Those Children And Former Inmates.
              We will never forget.
               1913 - 1938
     Officially unveiled by
the Honourable Adam Giles MLA
Chief Minister Of the Northern Territory
           3 August 2013


Left Side Inscription
Remembering the children
Kahlin Compound
1913 – 1938
Taken from family and country
We acknowledge the children`s strength, survival and significant contribution to the development of Darwin and the Territory.
“The Kahlin Compound was established in 1913 to house Aboriginal people, and [children] brought here from across the Territory.  Survivors of the Kahlin Compound endured some of the darkest times in the Northern Territory`s history and many are now Darwin`s oldest, prominent Aboriginal families.  The Compound was closed in 1938…:  Local historian, Dr Mickey Dewar, 2014. The Northern Territory Government commits to the development of a Masterplan and memorial for a future site in the precinct that acknowledges the history of the wrongdoing that occurred and the significant contribution Aboriginal people and descendants from the Kahlin Compoumd have made to the Northern Territory.
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au