Years of Operation1950 to around 1983/84.
Role Of FacilityFamily groups, residential child care, also a school.
Sponsoring AgencyAustralian Aborigines Evangelical Mission Board (affiliated with the Missionary Fellowship – for more information about the MF see entry for Baptist Union).
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Australian Aborigines Evangelical Mission” in the earlier section of Signposts, “List of Facilities”
Brief HistoryCundeelee had accommodation for “47 children at the Mission school” when surveyed in 1971. At that time, Cundeelee was controlled by the AAEM. (Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey).
Mission Grants in Aid 1973 for an ablution block; in 1974 for two sets of toilets and extra ablution blocks; in 1975 to repair a lined dam.
“The Department continues to provide a service to Cunderlee (sic) Mission and has again financially supported the provision of water in a time of prolonged drought” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1977).
When the Welstat (national welfare statistical collection) definitions were applied in 1979, there were a range of other facilities, operated either by the Department or non-Government agencies, which were defined as “Other Homes for Children”. ‘Cunderlee Mission’ was included in this category. Such a definition referred to “a residential child care establishment that is mainly for children aged under 15 and/or still at school, and that consists of either a single dwelling that is not a family group home, or two or more dwellings that share cooking and eating facilities” and which were not (detention) Institutions or Hostels. The facility was listed as a non-Departmental operation.
By 1982, Cundeelee was an Aboriginal Community, and the Department visited the area weekly. The appointment of a post-primary school teacher to Cundeelee in 1982 was reported as “a very significant step forward”, which would “allow Cundeelee children to remain in their normal environment instead of being placed...many miles away [which had] created some problems in the past.” Boys from Cundeelee, for example, had previously gone to the Working Boys’ Hostel in Millen Street, Boulder. By 1983, after “protracted negotiations” the Cundeelee community was “able to plan positively for their move to Canowna Station, purchased through the Aboriginal Development Commission.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).
RecordsAccording to the The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website, the State Records Office in Western Australia “holds extensive records relating to missions.” Contact details are below.
Departmental records for children placed by the Department of Community Welfare or the Department of Native Welfare may exist.
Additionally, the Department for Child Protection’s Aboriginal Index and the guide, “Looking West”, should be consulted for information.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department for Child Protection
PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892
Telephone: (08) 9222 2555
Facsimile: (08) 9222 2776
Country free call: 1800 000 277

For general information relating to missions:
State Records Office, Alexander Library Building
James St West Entrance
Perth WA 6000.
Search Centre: GroundFloor Mon-Fri:9.30am-4.30pm
Telephone: (08) 9427 3360
Facsimile: (08) 9427 3368