Australian School Uniform: Individual Schools--Fairbridge Farm Schools


Figure 1.--The Fairbridge Farm School was a vocational school teaching low-income migrant children from Britain farming skills (1912-82). It was located in Albany, Western Australia. Another Fairbridge school was located in New South Wales. This photograph was taken in the 1920s.

Kingsley Fairbridge and his wife Ruby arrived in Albany, Western Australia, from England (1912). They settled in Pinjarra to open the world's first Fairbridge Farm School. Their objective was to aid needy children from low-income families. Thet wanted to see, "little children shedding the bondage of bitter circumstances and stretching their legs and minds amid the thousand interests of the farm." Fairbridge Farm School was a school for migrant children. The Fairbridge organisation was founded to oversee a child migration scheme for underprivileged British children (1912). The children were sent to Australia, Canada, and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Parents had to sign over legal guardianship of their children for the promise of a better life in Commonwealth countries. The children were trained to be 'farmers and farmersí wives'. The program opened a farm school near Pinjarra in southwest Western Australia (1913-82). The school assisted some 3,580 children who arrived under various child migration schemes. The school provided education in vocational task-learning, husbandry, metal work and wood work. A second Fairbridge Farm School was opened just before World War II near Molong in New South Wales (1938 until 1974). About 1,000 boys and girls passed through this school. The School during World War II provide services to Dutch refugee children evacuated from the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). They were cared for at Fairbridge while waiting to be reunited with their families. During the War, Fairbridge was also used as a training ground for the Women's Land Army. In addition, Guildford Grammar School was partially relocated there while their school was used as a hospital base. An airfield was constructed and operated from the school during the Second World War until the 1950s. In recent years disturbing reports have emerged about child abuse as well as inedble food and minimal eucation.









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Created: 7:41 PM 6/13/2016
Last updated: 7:41 PM 6/13/2016