Beagle Bay Mission
Years of Operation1901-1978
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for girls and boys of Indigenous backgrounds aged 0-20 years of age.
Sponsoring AgencyCatholic Diocese of Broome
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Catholic Diocese of Broome” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
Address(es)Beagle Bay, which is located on the Dampier Peninsula, 180 kilometres north of Broome
Brief History“A Piece of the Story”, (available at the National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families reports that Beagle Bay was “administered by the Diocese of Broome which was known as the Vicariate of the Kimberley prior to 1967. It was staffed initially by the Trappist Order and then, from 1901, by the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines). They were joined in 1907 by the Sisters of St John of God.”

For more information about the Pallottines, see entry for Pallottine Centre, Riverton in this document.

Annual Reports of the Department note a Mission Grant in Aid 1974 for the modernisation of the girls' dormitory and electrical wiring.

Now an Aboriginal Community, Beagle Bay is not used by the Department as a placement service, but children may be placed with foster parents who live in that community. For example, 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 Placements” and Beagle Bay was one of these. In the Annual Report of 1981, Departmental staff at Broome were noted as providing “welfare services to the communities at One Arm Point, Beagle Bay, Lombardina and La Grange, which are visited regularly. The extension of the Aboriginal Communities Act to One Arm Point and the La Grange community, has enabled these communities to play a role in controlling misbehaviour and participating in the Children’s Courts which have been established.”

A limited chronology of admissions and discharges is included in Table 2.
RecordsSome records are held by the Department for Child Protection and can be accessed through them.
Church related documents and correspondence are held by the catholic Diocese of Broome.
According 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”, including Beagle Bay, at its site , the earliest of which is dated 1898.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFor information about personal records:
Freedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888

The Archivist, Pallottines Centre
60 Fifth Ave, Rossmoyne WA 6148
Telephone: (08) 9354 0208
Facsimile: (08) 9457 0344

Holy Child Orphanage
SSJG Heritage Centre
PO Box 7442, Broome WA 6725
Telephone: (08) 9192 3950

For information about church related documents and correspondence:
The Archivist, Diocesan Office,
PO Box 76, Broome WA 6725
Telephone: (08) 9192 1060
Facsimilie: (08) 9192 2136

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