AIM Retta Dixon Home Bagot - Policy and Development


National Archives of Australia Darwin Office Series F1/0 Item 1955/253 Aborigines Inland Mission Retta Dixon Home Bagot - Policy and Development Copyright P J Mackett 2006 Letter Director of Welfare Northern territory to Retta Dixon Home dated 2. 3.1955 Enclosed please find Committal Orders for the following children, who have left the Retta Dixon Home. Michael Laughton discharged from Home, February 1954 (section blanked out) James and Beverly Carroll, children discharged from Home 25. 9.1954 (section blanked out) Mabel Gallaghe returned to Waterloo Station with her father Jack Gallagher. Discharged from the Home 6. 2.1955. Retta Dixon Home (dated 1956) This is a list of Aboriginal people at the Home on 20. 1.1956. Girls 1 - 4 years ...a Clancy 4 yrs 3 mths Rosalind Gordon 4 yrs 6 mths Eunice Winsley 2 yrs 5 mths Margaret Tilmouth 4 yrs 10 mths Girls 4 - 7 years Elizabeth Austral 7 yrs Barbara Cummings 7 yrs 8 mths Sally Fejo 6 yrs 8 mths Phyllis Kitching 7 yrs 5 mths Sandra Kitching 6 yrs 9 mths Louise Liddy 6 yrs 2 mths Susan Roman 6 yrs 11 mths Lynette Storer 6 yrs 11 mths Elizabeth Vickman 7 yrs Girls 7 - 11 years Josephine Cadell 9 yrs 9 mths Valerie Colbert 9 yrs 7 mths Margaret Cooper 11 yrs 6 mths Faith Crosbie 9 yrs 1 mth Rosemarie Clancy 9 yrs Anne Frith 9 yrs 5 mths Diane Gallagher 10 yrs 5 mths Violet Gallagher 8 yrs 8 mths Margaret Gallagher 11 yrs Beryl Holtze 11 yrs Beryl Victoria Holtze 8 yrs 7 mths Audrey Roman 9 yrs 6 mths Rachel Roman 8 yrs 6 mths Joyce Reuben 10 yrs 8 mths Gwen Rose 10 yrs 8 mths Maxine Storer 8 yrs 8 mths May Stott 9 yrs 7 mths Shirley Shepherd 8 yrs Marjorie Winphil 11 yrs Girls 12 - 15 years Denice Austral 14 yrs 7 mths Joyce Croft 13 yrs 11 mths Ruth Crosbie 15 yrs 5 mths Margaret Crosbie 12 yrs Vera Doran 15 yrs 7 mths Patricia Holtze 12 yrs Elaine Kelly 12 yrs 11 mths Olive Kennedy 12 yrs 4 mths May Knight 13 yrs 8 mths Maralyn Lowe 14 yrs 10 mths Josephine Martin 15 yrs 6 mths Annabelle Roman 13 yrs 9 mths Girls 16 years and over Mena Croft 17 yrs 6 mths Lorna Nelson 17 yrs 4 mths Corine Shepherd 17 yrs 11 mths (inmate Darwin Hospital) Boys 1 - 4 years Walter Griffin 4 yrs 4 mths Dennis Kitching 4 yrs 3 mths Raymond Winsley 4 yrs 4 mths Henry Crosbie 3 yrs Vincent Crosbie 2 yrs Boys 4 - 7 years Keith Boase 5 yrs 6 mths Raymond Croker 7 yrs Donald Huddleston 7 yrs 6 mths Robert Shepherd 6 yrs 4 mths Kenneth Waters 7 yrs Boys 7 - 11 years David Austral 10 yrs 8 mths John Colbert 8 yrs 9 mths Clifford Cummings 9 yrs John Fejo 9 yrs 9 mths Francis Fejo 9 yrs 4 mths William Holtze 10 yrs John Kelly 8 yrs 10 mths Shamus O'Brien 9 yrs Billy Crosbie 10 yrs Sammy Wright 9 yrs Boys 12 - 15 years Brian Austral 13 yrs John Crosbie 13 yrs 8 mths Sammy Fejo 14 yrs 4 mths David Holtze 13 yrs 3 mths Leslie Moore 12 yrs Roger Roman 15 yrs 9 mths Trevor Reid 13 yrs 8 mths Robert Stott 12 yrs 8 mths Raymond Tilmouth 13 yrs 9 mths Ronnie Woodroffe 13 yrs 9 mths Boys 16 years and over James Anderson 16 yrs 7 mths Walter Fejo 16 yrs 6 mths William Lane 16 yrs Charles Snape 17 yrs 4 mths Other Members of Home Mrs Parker Mrs Fejo Eileen Austral (children Alan, Nola and Jennifer) Elsie Woodroffe Winnie Winsley Jane Rotumah (children William, Peter and Joseph) Peggy Gallagher 5 yrs Josie Crosbie 5 yrs Marie Holtze 6 yrs Denella Beer 5 yrs Leonard Beer 3 yrs Mervyn Beer 18 mths Glenys Braun 13 yrs Maralyn Braun 11 yrs Stanley Braun 9 yrs Anthony Braun 7 yrs Notes dated 20. 2.1956 Charlie Snape and William Lane residing outside Retta Dixon Home. Walter Fejo A.I.M. Institute Singleton. Director of Welfare note dated 21. 2.1956 On Monday February 13th it was reported to me by Miss Dinham, Acting Superintendent, that the following boys left the Retta Dixon Home without obtaining permission from the Director of Welfare :- Jimmy Anderson 16 1/2 years ) William Lane 16 years ) left on February 10th Roger Roman 16 years ) Charlie Snape 17 1/2 years, left end January 1956 On Friday 10th, the first three boys named above had been reproved by Miss Dinham for several reasons, viz avoiding their chores, refusing to help repaint the kitchen of Retta Dixon Home, lying on their beds without first removing the quilts etc. When the boys threatened to leave they were cautioned by Miss Dinham to approach the Director of Welfare. All the boys have since been interviewed by the Director of Welfare. William Lane has been granted permission to stay with Mr and Mrs Peter Pang Quee at hut 63 Winnellie and Charlie Snape has been granted permission to reside with his brothers Anthony and Robin Snape at Mrs Mays', Police Paddock. Jimmy Anderson and Roger Roman have been returned to the Retta Dixon Home until other accomodation has been obtained for them. E M Merlin Welfare Officer Committal Order Name Charles Arnold Snape Born 19. 8.1938 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 19. 8.1956 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Note to Mr Pott 21. 3.1956 As arranged verbally, the following folios have been removed from file 55/253, & the folios have been grouped together under various case histories. Would you please enclose each case history in new file cover & R/S Mr Merlin. Thank you M Merlin 21. 3.1956. Numbers of Folios Removed Case History 32, 43A, 45, 46 RDH Winnie Mindley 52, 53, 55, 62, 72 RDH Johnny Crosbie 65, 77 RDH Josephine Martin 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 RDH Rotumah Family 37, 38 RDH Beer Family 31, 42, 42a RDH Margaret Snape 27, 28 RDH Vera Doran 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 56, 57 RDH Russell Children Committal Orders August 1953 Name Sally Fejo Born 7. 4.1949 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 7. 4.1967 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name John Fejo Born 1. 3.1946 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 1. 3.1964 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name Maralyn Lowe Born 1. 2.1941 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 1. 2.1959 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Denice Austral Born 17. 5.1941 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 17. 5.1959 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Walter Fejo Born 8. 6.1939 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 8. 6.1957 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Margaret Snape Born 1.10.1940 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 1.10.1958 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name James Anderson Born 6. 5.1939 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 6. 5.1957 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name Leslie Reid Born 3. 1.1940 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 3. 1.1958 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name William Lane Born 7.12.1939 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 7.12.1957 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name Fred Holtze Born 5.10.1940 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 5.10.1958 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Thomas Crosbie Born 13. 1.1939 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 13. 1.1957 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Francis Althouse Born 12. 7.1952 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 12. 7.1970 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name Corine Shepherd Born 28. 1.1938 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 28. 1.1956 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name Anne Lane Born 5. 3.1938 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 5. 3.1956 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Name David Russell Born 10. 3.1941 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 10. 3.1959 (18th birthday) Dated 19. 8.1953 Name Norman Anderson Born 29. 9.1938 Committed To Retta Dixon Home Until 29. 9.1956 (18th birthday) Dated 18. 8.1953 Letter from Retta Dixon Home to Director of Welfare dated 12.11.1956 Mr and Mrs D W Howes of 7 Alpha Road, Willoughby, NSW, has invited Olive Kennedy, a child of our home, to spend her Christmas vacation with them. These folk are personal friends of Miss Dinham, they have been interested in and corresponded with Olive over the past few years. We are confident that Olive will be well received and cared for in the family circle and that every effort will be made to give her an interesting & enjoyable holiday. Olive is quite excited and happy over the invitation. Mr Howes has offered to pay Olive's return plane fare and to meet all other expenses incurred. With your approval, we plan for Olive to fly by direct flight to Sydney, leaving Darwin on friday the 14th December, 1956. Yours faithfully M Shankelton Letter from Director of Welfare to Acting District Welfare Officer Alice Springs dated 1955 about the Retta Dixon Home Recently two boys who were committed to the above Home have been given permission to proceed to Alice Springs for the purpose mainly of visiting relatives. The boys are :- Sammy Fejo and Roger Roman Both these lads have left school and have been working in Darwin for some time. They had sufficient money to pay their own fares and accomodation etc when they left Darwin. Both of the boys are good types and have never caused any trouble in Darwin or at the Retta Dixon Home and have never asked for assistance from the Branch. I informed them that should they require any advice or assistance in Alice Springs they should contact you. H C Giese Director of Welfare Correspondence to Director of Native Welfare dated 23. 5.1957 Retta Dixon Home 3. Number of Wards Working Miss Shankleton has in Table 1 included the three girls Elaine Kelly, Joyce Croft and Glenys Braun under the category of fifteen years and younger ie 12 - 15 years group. Vera Doran is the only girl over fifteen years and has therefore been included in the age group of 15 + years. Vera Doran used to pay board at the rate of 30/- per week when working full time, but now that she is working part time, she works for two days in the Retta Dixon Home and this covers her board. The five inmates committed to the Retta Dixon Home under the (old) Aboriginals Ordinance are : Ruby Sherherd, Winnie Winsley, Mrs Hayes, Mrs Croft and Elsie Woodroffe. 4. Names of Children Committed to the Home Penny Gallagher was not committed to the Home at the at the same time as her sister in 1953 because she was not of age to attend school. When Peggy was of school age Mr Evans arranged with Miss Shankleton for the child to be admitted. The father pays 10/- per week maintenance. William and Peter and Joseph Rotumah These three children are fully supported by their father. The mother is in Cloncurry. Cost of maintenance 30/- per child per week. William and Dennis Dempsey The two children are fully supported by their mother. Allan Austral, Marlene Hayes, Nola Hayes and Jennifer Hayes The mother of these four children Mrs Hayes is employed by the Home on the kitchen staff for which she receives 3 pounds per week. Mother and children are boarded by the Home, but Mrs Hayes dresses her children from her own money. McKenzie and Stanley Croft. Mrs Croft the mother of the two boys is employed in the laundry and is paid by the Retta Dixon Home at the rate of 2 pounds 10 shillings per week. Both mother and children are boarded by the Home but Mrs Croft pays for the children's clothes and other expenses. E M Merlin Aborigines Inland Mission List dated 30. 4.1957 Names of Children Not Committed to the Home Glenys Braun Maralyn Braun Ralph Braun (Stanley) Anthonia Braun Ian Tilmouth Margaret Tilmouth Henry Crosbie ) Jock, Vincent Crosbie ) Under State Children's Council Josephine Crosbie ) Peggy Gallagher Contribution made by father Jack Gallagher Tommy Allan Leslie Allan Marie Allan Fay Allan Peter Winsley Marie Holtze William Rotumah ) Peter Rotumah ) Supported by father Charlie Rotumah Joseph Rotumah ) William Dempsey ) Dennis Dempsey ) Norman George ) Supported by mother Mrs Norman George Joan George ) Edward George ) Allan Austral ) Marlene Hayes ) Mother working on kitchen staff, cares Nola Hayes ) for these four children Jennifer Hayes ) McKenzie Croft ) Mother on Laundry, Stanley Croft ) cares for 2 boys Wards, Post School Elaine Kelly, 14 years, assists duties in Home Joyce Croft, 15 years, assists duties in Home Glenys Braun, 14 years, assists duties in Home Vera Doran, 16 years, casual day work at one pound Samuel Fejo, 15 years, in Alice Springs Roger Roman, 17 years, in Alice Springs David Ross, 14 years, assists in Home James Anderson, 17 years, Stuart Highway, Winnellie, 18 years old on 6. 5.1957 Letter from Director of Welfare to Retta Dixon Home dated 1957 I have completed my work with Ray Winalie for the present time. Ray has low average mental ability and is always likely to be backward at school. It seems to me a very sound move to have kept him at the pre-school centre beyond his fifth birthday as this should give him an opportunity of being roughly equal with the average five-year-olds when he begins school next year. Admittedly he will be one year retarded when he starts his schooling but I consider that this is preferable to having him develop an early antipathy to school because of his inability to come up to average performance standards along with the others with whom he starts school. Furthermore, the fact of being one year retarded will not be anywhere near as inimical to his general adjustment and his liking of school as could be his having to repeat a year in the early grades. Whilst Ray gives the appearance of being particuarly vacant, he can respond readily to instructions given, though he certainly has not yet learnt the art of responding in normal ways. His response if anything is a bit doglike and I think he may need some special assistance in training in forms of address, speech response forms and social manners and habits. These the majority of children in the average and above bands acquire incidentally from observation and from correction, but I think that Ray could be helped by some specific training which is done in such a way that he will not find it boring or irksome. I should like to take the liberty of suggesting that perhaps Miss Sinclair with her background training in pre-school work might work out some training programme of this type. Again, if it were done for Ray it would possibly be best to do it in a small group, and once more I should think that Miss Sinclair might be of considerable help in structuring suitable and appropriate group situations for the purpose. E P Milliken For Director of Welfare
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