Women and girls at dormitory at Barambah Aboriginal Settlement 1909

The children’s dormitory houses children who, from as young as five years old, are taken from their mothers. The system aims to reform children by cutting them off from their families, forcing them to live by European ways.

“I think that any child whom the Protector considered should be separated from Aboriginal conditions should be taken away as soon as possible so as to leave as little remembrance as possible of the camp in the child’s mind.”
— JW Bleakley, Chief Protector of Aboriginals


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The Cherbourg Memory is an initiative of the Rationshed Museum and brings together the photos, videos, oral history recordings, documents and other artifacts of our lives on this settlement. It a website, an archive, an educational resource, a recording project, a research data-base, a store of the people’s stories and an interactive space for comments and engagement. We encourage the people of Cherbourg, the Indigenous communities in Australia and others who have experience of our settlement to help us create a living archive of Barambah-Cherbourg. So find out a little more about the Cherbourg Memory, discover how you can Participate, or find out how you can Contribute to the development of the Cherbourg Memory.