Years of Operation1918 to 1951 as the Moore River Native Settlement, then from 1951 to 1980 as Mogumber.
Role Of FacilityResidential child care of children from Indigenous backgrounds, both boys and girls. An Agricultural College as also on site for some years during Mogumber’s operations.
Sponsoring AgencyOriginally, the Methodist Overseas Mission then the Methodist Homes for Children [see entry for Methodist Church] and Manguri (Sister Kate’s) / Uniting Church
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Uniting Church” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
Address(es)Moore River, approximately 100 km north of Perth.
AliasesMogumber Methodist Training Centre / Moore River Settlement
Brief HistoryMogumber was the successor to the Moore River Settlement, information about which is held in the Battye Library. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website shows the Moore River Settlement as a Government facility which operated from 1918 to 1951.

During the years 1966 and 1970, Child Welfare Department statistics show the total number of “Native Wards” resident at Mogumber at June 30 each year, as follows:
1966: 16
1967: 51
1968: 49
1969: 60
1970: 44

Wilson and Robinson gave a contemporary overview of Mogumber in 1971:
“The Methodist Overseas Mission has been operating a mission at Mogumber for over twenty years. A high proportion of Mogumber’s residents are Wards of the State, and have been nurtured in the Mission’s isolated environment for most of their lives. A recent change in its policy at Mogumber has directed attention towards the gradual replacement of the mission by a number of small ‘scatter-homes’ in other areas.” Applecross Cottage was the first of these, followed by Adross Hostel [see entries].

Mogumber…caters for 60-70 pre-school, primary, high school and agricultural school students, most of whom are Wards of the State.”Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey

The Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare reports Mogumber receiving a Mission Grant in Aid in 1973 for a cottage.

1980: reported as having amalgamated with Sister Kate’s.

See also Applecross Cottage and Mogumber Hostel, which was situated in Ardross as some residents would have gone there from Mogumber [see Signposts entry for Ardoss House]. Children receiving medical treatment in Perth from 1973/74 may have gone to Nollamara Children’s Respite Home [see entry]. Mogumber Scatter Cottages were amalgamated with Sister Kate’s [now Manguri, see entry] by 1981.

In addition to the entries mentioned above, the Methodist Church has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted as it gives more information about the approach taken.

See also the book and film, “Rabbit Proof Fence” by Doris Pilkington for an account of life at Mogumber.
RecordsDepartmental 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.
A letter of authorisation is required from the Department, for records about Mogumber and/or Manguri, which are held at the Battye Library but which are not accessible to the public.
Refer to Battye Library for general information about the Moore River Settlement.
It is not known whether any other records from the Methodist Overseas Mission are still in existence, but a contact address is given below. Enquiries might also be made through Mofflyn [see entry] as they are the successor agency to the Methodist Homes for Children.
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.” Contact details are below.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888

The Assembly Archivist, Uniting Church in Australia
PO Box A2266, Sydney South NSW 1235
Telephone: (02) 8267 4267
Facsimile: (02) 8267 4222


Synod of Western Australia, UCA Archives Research Centre, 1st Floor 10 Pier Street, Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9221 6911

For access to the Moore River Index (records and photographs for the period 1920-1960):

Jenny Mogridge
Mogumber Heritage
PO Box 70, Mogumber WA 6506
Telephone: (08) 9651 9010 Facsimile: (08) 9651 9028


Aboriginal History Research Unit, Department of Indigenous Affairs
1st Floor, 197 St George’s Terrace, Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9235 8000
Facsimile: (08) 9235 8088

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

For people wishing to access the Battye Library’s collection of historical material:
The State Library of Western Australia,
Alexander Library Building, State Cultural Centre, Perth WA 6000.
Telephone: (08) 9427 3111 (local) or 1800 198 107 (WA country callers)
Facsimilie: (08) 9427 3256
Opening hours for the Battye Library at time of publication are:
Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm; Friday 9am-5:30pm;
Saturday/Sunday 10am-5:30pm