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Almost a third of the more than 1100 youngsters sent out to institutions run by the Christian Brothers in W.A. came from Malta.

 

 

Between 1950 and 1965 310 Maltese child migrants were sent to Australia

 

group portrait
Maltese children at Bindoon Boys’ Town1952. Reproduced courtesy State Library of Western Australia, The BattyeLibrary 005086D.

 

In 1928 Perth-based Maltese priest Father Raphael Pace urged the Christian Brothers to include Maltese children in its emerging migration scheme. Negotiations betweenthe Maltese and Western Australian Governments continued through the 1930s but the first Maltese child migrants did not arrive in Australia until after World War II.

 

Between 1950and 1965, 259 boys and 51 girls were sent to Catholic institutions in Western Australia and South Australia.  Most parents believed their children would receive a better education in Australia.Instead many were put to work on the Christian Brothers’ building projects and left to endure the same punishments and abuses as their British counterparts.Some were forced to stop using their Maltese language and never learned to read or write English.