Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website, and its links, contain images and voices of people who have passed away.

Traumatised Aboriginal children living in the squalor of a 1940s government native settlement in Western Australia are inspired by their white schoolteacher to create beautiful landscape drawings that gain international acclaim, challenge a government’s racist policies, and inspire four generations of Noongar artists.

 

Available now as a downloadable eBook

Connection uses ‘faces’ and ‘voices’ of the past to take you into a world where Aboriginal children rise above great adversity to create beautiful landscape drawings that are acclaimed on both sides of the world. Connection is a story of trauma, and the overcoming of trauma. A story that resonates in today’s world of the oppressed and their oppressors. A story of Hope, Heart and Healing.

'… the book is nothing short of incredible.'
Carlie Atkinson, CEO, We Al-li Programs

More about the book

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI4jBmC8i-Q?wmode=opaque&rel=0&modestbranding=1&w=640&h=360]

Latest Blogs

08/01/2024

French Arte Documentary on Carrolup Has Been Broadcast

On 22nd February last year, I reported on my experience in a blog ‘Filming The Carrolup Story for a European Audience’. I had been working with a French TV production team on a project, for Arte, the French/German broadcasting network, and with its Directrice, Emma Piesse. Emma had, in fact, […]
30/12/2023

Most Viewed Website Posts, 2023

My colleague John Stanton and I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all the very best for 2024. We hope you have had a restful and enjoyable Christmas break. We would also like to thank you for visiting The Carrolup Story website. Here are the […]
10/07/2023

Noelene Melville White, 10 November 1933 – 25 June 2023

With great sadness, on 6 July, we laid to rest Noelene White, eldest daughter of Noel and Lily White and sister of the late Janette and Ross White, whose careful custodianship of the Carrolup School papers assembled by her parents contributed so much to our knowledge of the […]

‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children.’

Nelson Mandela

Slideshow of photos relating to the story of the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup. The background song 'Carrolup' was written by Dilip Parekh, a Fremantle-based musician, in 2007 and performed by Dilip 'n the Davs. You can hear the full song here.

Journal of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society

David gave a talk about the Aboriginal child artists of Carrolup at the Royal Western Australian Historical Society on 11 September 2020. He also wrote an article for Society’s Annual Journal Early Days. You can download a pdf copy of the article.

‘Healing is not just about recovering what we have lost or repairing what has been broken. It is about embracing our life force to create a new and vibrant fabric that keeps us grounded and connected, wraps us in warmth and love and gives us the joy of seeing what we have created.’

Helen Milroy

Healing

13/03/2023

Helping People Overcome Emotional Distress: The Power Threat Meaning Framework

After nearly twenty years working as a neuroscientist, I closed down my university research laboratory at the beginning of the millennium. I no longer believe in the biomedical approach to helping people overcome addiction and mental health problems. I believe that long-term use of psychiatric drugs causes more […]
07/03/2023

‘The Connected Community: Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods’ by Cormac Russell and John McKnight

The most common approach to ‘helping’ communities has involved focusing on the community’s needs, deficiencies, and problems. This depersonalising approach disempowers and often causes other forms of harm to community citizens. The alternative path to community development, Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), focuses on a community’s assets, capacities, and abilities. Significant community […]
28/02/2023

‘What Happened? What Mental Health is Really About’: Bill Saunders

Here is the Forward of a book written by Perth Clinical Psychologist Bill Saunders, What Happened? What Mental Health is Really About. This is a really important book, essential reading for anyone interested in mental health or psychological wellbeing. I agree with all of Bill’s statements below about […]

‘Land is a story place. Land holds the stories of human survival across the generations. Land shapes people, just as people shape their countries.’

Judy Atkinson

‘Stories help us develop empathy. They allow us to understand another person’s world from their perspective.’

Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Story

09/11/2018

Colonisation

The colonisation of Australia by Europeans had a massive negative impact on a peoples and culture that has existed for over 50,000 years. The first settlers brought diseases that wiped out large numbers of Aboriginal people, as they had no immunity to European diseases. Many of the survivors existed […]
09/11/2018

Acclaim

In 1947, the children’s drawings attract public attention locally at the Katanning Show, and further afield in Perth. ​Three children (Reynold Hart, Dulcie Penny and Vera Wallam) have their articles accepted in the Lord Forrest Centenary Booklet—in competition with other children from all over the state—whilst Parnell Dempster has a […]
09/11/2018

Football

Carrolup Native Settlement school’s football team attracts particular attention in 1948, beating local teams playing ‘a particularly unique style of football within the Australian code.’ After one match, pupils of Katanning school are given an impromptu demonstration of the art skills of six members of the Carrolup team. The […]
09/11/2018

Florence

In July 1949, a 71-year old Englishwoman Mrs Florence Rutter briefly visits Carrolup and purchases five pounds worth of drawings and designs. She exhibits the drawings and designs in eight cities around Australia and New Zealand, and receives many orders for the children’s artworks. The Department of Native Affairs agrees […]
09/11/2018

Europe

Initially, Native Affairs Commissioner Mr S G Middleton writes enthusiastic letters to Mrs Rutter. She organises an exhibition in Appeldoorn, the Netherlands, where the art is acclaimed. People’s perceptions of ‘Stone-Age’ Aboriginal people are changed. However, an open conflict breaks out between the new supervisor at Carrolup, Mr […]
09/11/2018

Outcry

Mr Middleton tries to justify the school’s closure in a letter to The West Australian newspaper. He talks about sending the boys to missions and says: ‘… they will at last begin to receive some spiritual education and training which may not yet be too late to stabilise sufficiently their characters to a point where they may […]
09/11/2018

Shattered

The boys’ dreams of a better future are shattered by the school closure and their later experiences in a white dominated society which considers them ‘inferior’. Revel Cooper says the decision to close the school: ‘… closed the pathway to a better way of life for coloured people.’ […]
09/11/2018

Search

Social Anthropologist John Stanton first learns about the Carrolup children’s art in 1976 when he sees two Revel Cooper landscapes framing Ronald and Catherine Berndt’s study door at the University of Western Australia. He reads Child Artists of the Australian Bush by Mary Durack Miller and Florence Rutter, […]
09/11/2018

Discovery

In 2004, John Stanton’s close Australian friend Professor Howard Morphy is invited to visit Colgate University in Upper New York State by the Director of Colgate’s Picker Gallery. The Gallery set aside some Aboriginal artefacts for him to look at. When Howard arrives, the Gallery Curator, Diane Butler, mentions that […]

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’

Margaret Mead

About us

The Carrolup Story project brings together kindred spirits who believe strongly in the healing power of Story. The project is based on the core values of authenticity, belonging, connection, courage, creativity, empathy, empowerment, safety and trust.

More about us


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any enquiries