Trower Road Cottage opened in 1969 in the Darwin suburb of Rapid Creek. It was one of six family group homes known as Somerville Cottage Homes. The Homes were run by Somerville Homes Incorporated, an association established by the United Church in Northern Australian and the Methodist Overseas Mission. The other Somerville Cottage Homes were located in Chapman Road, Clarke Crescent and Fox Crescent in Rapid Creek and Henry Street and Luxton Street in Stuart Park.
Trower Road Cottage provided care for up to eight children, both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal, aged between 4 and 16 years under the supervision of cottage parents. A statistical summary dated 30 June 1971 shows that on that day the cottage was only accommodating 1 girl aged 11 and 3 boys aged between 6 and 13. Two children belonging to the cottage parents also resided at the Home.
In an early pamphlet, Trower Road cottage was also referred to as Illawarra Cottage, carrying on the name of one of the cottages on Croker Island, from where many of the first children in Somerville Cottage Homes came. This name appears to have been used rarely as all of the Cottages were generally referred to by their street addresses.
Trower Road Cottage was damaged by Cyclone Tracy in December 1974 and closed as a cottage for children. No children were present at the time of the cyclone as all were on holiday placements interstate. The Cottage reopened with new cottage parents in April 1975. It continued to operate as a family group home until 1976.
The Trower Road premises was leased to the government from 1977 and used as an institution for young female offenders. In 1981 Somerville Homes opened a new Home for children with disabilities known as Bunyip House.
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11 June 2021
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nt/YE00235
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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