|“||I saw great Colleges of Agriculture (not workhouses) springing up in every man-hungry corner of the Empire. I saw children shedding the bondage of bitter circumstances and stretching their legs and minds amid the thousand interests of the farm. I saw waste turned to providence, the waste of un-needed humanity converted to the husbandry of unpeopled acres.||”|
In March 1912 the Fairbridges sailed for Western Australia aboard the Afric, arriving at Albany on 15 April 1912 with capital of £2000. After several months of searching for suitable properties around Albany, Denmark and the Warren River nearManjimup, a property of 160 acres (0.65 km2) was located and purchased near Pinjarra about 60 miles (97 km) south of Perth, with the Western Australian government agreeing to pay £6 for each child towards the cost of the passage money.
After several months of frantic clearing of the run-down property as well as building basic accommodation (mainly tents) for the expected arrivals, the first party of 13 boys, aged between 7 and 13, arrived on board the Australind at Fremantle in January 1913. In July they were followed by a second party of 22 boys.
They endured hardship over the first few years but fell into severe financial difficulties during World War I until the government provided a grant that tided the school over the war period. In August 1919 Fairbridge went to England on the Ormonde and managed to raise a sum of £27,000 for the development of the school. The British Government's Overseas Settlement Committee provided £20,000, on condition that the Western Australian Government continued its grant of 6 shillings per week per child.
A larger property of 3,200 acres (13 km²) of uncleared land was purchased north of Pinjarra and new buildings, including cottages to house the children, a dining hall, a house for his own family and farm buildings, were erected. Assistance from the Australian Government was also provided. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingsley_Fairbridge
A History of Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra, Western Australia: http://www.fairbridgekids.com/index.htm
A Report on conditions at the Farm School: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1911771.htm
Fairbridge Farm Schools - The Failed Eden?: http://chameleonfire1.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/fairbridge-farm-schools-the-failed-eden/
Oral Histories of Child Migrants: http://www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibition/fairbridge/fairbridge-transcripts/
Fairbridge Farm School, Fintry, British Columbia, Canada: http://www.fintry.ca/history/fairbridge.php
Accessing Child Migrant Records: http://www.caara.org.au/index.php/publications/child-migrants-accessing-records-held-by-commonwealth-and-state-archives/