A generation of Aboriginal children grew up in St Mary’s Hostel in Alice Springs from 1946 until the 1970s.

The exact number is not publicly available but it is in the order of 300-400.

Some children were placed there by their families and some were placed there by the ‘Welfare Branch’ of Government.

Many, but not all, are what we now consider to be ‘Stolen Generations.’

They had a variety of experiences there; some experienced abuse and neglect, but they formed family with each other and it was the only home they knew.

St Mary’s Hostel was owned and run by various parts of the Anglican Church working together (the Anglican Board of Mission, the local priest and the Bishop of Carpentaria, the relevant Anglican Diocese at the time). The Commonwealth Government had some supervisory and regulatory powers over St Mary’s and also contributed some funding.

Since 2016 members of the St Mary’s Stolen Generation group have repeatedly asked the Anglican church for ongoing connection to St Mary’s for healing, remembrance and for educating the future generations.

In early October 2022 they were told the site was being sold. They are distressed that the site has been put on the market (expressions of interest closed on December 19, 2022), and that it is likely to be redeveloped and lost to them.

On 28 November 2022 the group wrote to the Anglican Bishop of the NT, Greg Anderson asking for:

  1. an area of the land for remembrance and healing that consists of:
    1. the chapel, and
    2. the yellow house immediately north of the chapel (the closest building to it), and
    3. an area around them both to keep their character as sacred, and
    4. an access road


  1. the money the Anglican Diocese of the NT promised (10% of the purchase price) to be invested and the interest used by the St Mary’s Stolen Generation Group for activities associated with the site – spending time on the land, a meeting place, teaching our children and our children’s children about the history, teaching others about the history, telling stories, displaying photos, as an office space, for archives etc


  1. a memorial monument in front of the chapel.

Bishop Anderson wrote back on 9 December and the situation remains that the Diocese is not legally protecting the Group’s interest and will not guarantee them any ongoing connection to the site.