Carrolup

17/04/2019
A pastel drawing, 28.5 x 22cm, by Dulcie Penney from one of her government-issued schoolbooks. The Myrtle K Benn Collection, 1947.

Did the Carrolup girls draw, too? Yes!

People often ask me, ‘Did the girls at Carrolup draw, we only hear about the boys?’ There is a lot to say about this, much of it reflecting the punitive control the then Department of Native Affairs had over Aboriginal people’s lives, including those of the children. When […]
10/04/2019
The frieze below the ceiling in the westernmost dormitory at Carrolup. Photographed by John Stanton (The Carrolup Story), 27th November 2018.

The Dormitory Frieze

One of the most remarkable artefacts surviving at Carrolup/Marribank today is one element of a frieze that encircled one of the bedrooms in the westernmost of the two children’s dormitories—the left one viewed from the front of the buildings. According to Carrolup artist Parnell Dempster, the frieze comprised […]
02/04/2019
Photograph of Tony Davis from ABC Great Southern, 27th November 2015.

Tony Davis, A Carrolup Story Advisor

One of the great pleasures I’ve had since starting this project several years ago is meeting Tony Davis from Albany. In 2016, I was working very closely with my close friend Michael Liu on a Revel Cooper project. Revel was one of the Carrolup child artists and it […]
20/03/2019
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Cheryle Jones’s Mother, Mildred Jones, at Carrolup

One of the aims of our project is to connect with families of the Aboriginal children who were at Carrolup. We want them to be able learn about what we have discovered about Carrolup and the people who were there – if they so wish – and hopefully […]
12/03/2019
Department of Native Affairs file on James Cooper, father of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper (p. 1).

Revel Cooper’s Early Life

Revel Cooper became one of the most famous, if not the most famous, of the Carrolup artists. However, he lived a troubled life, despite his success as an artist. Revel spent many years in and out of prison in Western Australia and Victoria. He also suffered from a drinking problem, […]
26/02/2019
Mrs Rutter with Prince Rudy Dinah and a group of Carrolup girls. The girl second from the left is Mildred Jones. Photographer: Noel White, 31st July 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Mrs Florence Rutter Visits Carrolup

One of the fascinating elements of the Carrolup Story is that the Aboriginal child artists had an ‘ambassador’ for their work, a 71-year old Englishwoman, Mrs Florence Rutter. Mrs Rutter was given permission by the Western Australian government to exhibit and sell the children’s art, first around Australia […]
20/02/2019
Carrolup School, main building. Photographer: David Clark, 16 November, 2016.

Importance of the Carrolup Story

“The first step in re-establishing healthy communities is to acknowledge and understand the impact of the colonial legacy on the lives of Aboriginal people today and the various pathways necessary for healing from historical trauma, using both cultural and contemporary understandings and processes.” Pat Dudgeon, Helen Milroy and […]
26/01/2019
Mr. and Mrs. White with some of the Carrolup boys and the Peet family. Back row: Barry Loo, Mr. Peet, Noel White, Adrian Allen and Mrs. Peet. Middle row: Lily White and the three Peet girls. Front row: Parnell Dempster, unidentified boy and Reynold Hart. Photograph taken in 1949. Noel & Lily White Collection.

Our Carrolup Project

I thought it particularly appropriate today, so-called ‘Australia Day’, that I re-iterate what John and I are doing and what we are hoping to achieve with our Carrolup Project. Seventy years ago, Aboriginal children of Carrolup ‘reached out’ to white society with their beautiful landscape drawings. Their efforts, […]
22/01/2019
Children of Carrolup with the first superintendent Mr W. J. Freyer. He was forced to resign in 1918 for chaining one of the young girls by her neck to a bed as a punishment.

Mr Neville: Removing Aboriginal Children From Their Family

This is the third of a series of blogs that considers the social, political and cultural context existing prior to our story of the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup. I focus on the policy of removing Aboriginal people from their families, which resulted in what we now know […]
17/01/2019
Trainees Tina Hansen (left) and Cora Farmer (right) videotape one of the early examples of Carrolup children's art held in the Berndt Museum for a film that was being made by John Stanton for the Marribank Community. Uniview, The University of Western Australia, 5/4, pp. 1-2, July 1986.

Noongar Trainees: Marribank Cultural Centre Project

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about John Stanton’s 40+ Year involvement with Carrolup. In that blog, I described the collaboration between the Marribank Family Centre and the Berndt Museum of Anthropology (of which John was Director), The Carrolup Project, that received generous funding from the Australian Bicentennial Authority. In […]
16/01/2019
Blackboys by Revel Cooper, watercolour on paper, 38 x 57cm, 1964. Purchased from George Abdullah, Perth, 1965. Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU3269]

Carrolup: John Stanton’s 40-Year Journey

As my colleague John Stanton is away on holiday in New Zealand, I thought I’d take this opportunity to blog about John’s association with Carrolup for a period of over 40 years. That’s a serious, long-standing interest and commitment! The initial large section of this blog come from […]
08/01/2019
Hunters by Revel Cooper, pastel on paper, 29 x 38cm, c.1948. Stan, Melvie and Gael Phillips Collection, 1947 – 65, Berndt Museum of Anthropology. [WU7304]

The Liminality of Dusk

The Carrolup child artists appear to have been particularly fascinated with the liminality of dusk. That is, the period between day and night when the light gradually fades to become night; when the breeze settles and becomes stillness personified, and when colours become simply black and white. When […]
14/12/2018
Some of the Carrolup young artists. Front row: Reynold Hart (Far Left), Parnell Dempster (Middle) and Revel Cooper (Far Right). Back row, 2nd Left: Barry Loo. Do you know who the other boys are?

Thank You, A Break, Best Wishes and…

The website has been running for just over a month now and we’ve uploaded blog postings on all but three days. Our major aims in this initial period have been to: enhance awareness of the Story of Carrolup to the public and make people aware of our initiative, […]
13/12/2018
The building that was the Matron's House at Carrolup Native Settlement. Photographer: John Stanton, 26th November 2018.

Our Visit to Carrolup

John and I visited Carrolup—or Marribank as it later became—on the 26th November 2018, on our way down to Albany from Perth. We walked around and explored some of the buildings, reflecting on what had gone on before when Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and held […]
10/12/2018
Ezzard Flowers speaking at the Official Opening of Koorah Coolingah exhibition, Katanning, with MC Norelle Jacobs in the background, 24th February 2006. Berndt Museum of Anthropology, The University of Western Australia.

Ezzard Flowers Speaking at the Official Opening of ‘Koorah Coolingah’

Ezzard Flowers, who travelled to Colgate University in America with Athol Farmer and John Stanton, reminds us of the impact of the return to the South-West of some of the ‘lost’ collection of Carrolup children’s art on Noongar culture. It was, indeed, an emotional occasion. Indeed, the event was […]
07/12/2018
The children's dormitories at Carrolup today. Photograph taken by John Stanton on 26th November 2018.

Institutionalisation of the Carrolup children

In recent blog posting, David revealed the memories of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper about life on Carrolup in the first half of 1940s, when the children were ‘running wild’. In his most recent posting, he described Revel’s memories of the time when Mrs Elliot was teacher between 1945 […]
05/12/2018
Photographs of three of the Carrolup boys. Sunday Times , 7th July 1945. Retrieved from Trove, National Library of Australia.

The Arrival of Mrs Elliot at Carrolup

In my last blog, I wrote how Michael Liu and I found a ‘letter’ written by Carrolup artist Revel Cooper in 1960, which described how the children were ‘running wild’ at Carrolup Native Settlement during the first half of the 1940s. Revel went on to say: After the […]
03/12/2018
First page of a description of life at Carrolup Native Settlement written by Carrolup artist Revel Cooper in 1960. Doreen Trainor Collection, J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History. [Click the image to see the full page. The letter continued, '... were of the very lowest standards' on the second page.]

Running Wild – Revel Cooper’s Memories of Carrolup

When close friend and filmmaker Michael Liu and I were researching the life of Carrolup artist Revel Cooper, we came across an important ‘letter’ he wrote that was in the Doreen Trainor Collection at Battye Library. Revel wrote his memories of Carrolup Native Settlement from the time he […]
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