Croker Island Aboriginal Children at Otford during WWII

In 1942, 95 Aboriginal children from a mission station, along with their 3 cottage mothers, escaped the threat of Japanese invasion. Travelling from Croker Island, Northern Territory by foot, boat, canoe, truck and train, the children arrived in Otford. There, they lived at the Methodist Conference Centre and attended local schools until 1946.

Photographs provided by the State Library of NSW, the Helensburgh Historical Society and the Powell family were brought together in this exhibition during NAIDOC Week 2021 documenting this important time in local history.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this page contains images and names of deceased persons.



To view images and their captions, go to the slideshow below

or click on individual images within the gallery.

Online puzzles based on the images can be found here.

To see more images from the Wollongong City Libraries’ Illawarra Images collection or to order high resolution copies of images, go to:

Illawarra Images