Catherine House, Broome, opened in December 1975 to provide accommodation for Aboriginal children. It replaced the Aboriginal Girls' Hostel, and was managed by the same two staff members as the Hostel. Catherine House was run by an independent management committee, but financed by the Department of Community Welfare. It could accommodate up to eight children from pre-primary to primary school age. Some, but not all, children were wards of the State. It is not known when Catherine House's residential facility closed, though it had probably closed by 1991. From 1991, the building was used as a non-residential placement and support centre by the child welfare authorities.
Catherine House primarily provided short-term care for children, although in some cases children lived at the Home for several years. Many children accommodated at Catherine House were placed there by the Department of Community Welfare, but private placements were also made, providing approval had been given by the Department first. The Home was licenced to provide accommodation for a maximum of 8 children at a time, however there was an additional bed set aside for mothers requiring temporary accommodation with their children. Mothers were expected to pay a fee for their stay if able, but could instead work at the home in exchange for their board if necessary.
1970 - 1975 Aboriginal Girls' Hostel
1975 - 1991? Catherine House, Broome
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; Western Australia. Department for Community Welfare, Annual Report: Department for Community Welfare, Dept. For Community Welfare, [Perth], 1973-1984, http://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b1410539~S7; State Records Office of Western Australia, Wards - Director's Approval to Transfer from one Institution to Another and Amend Training, Reference Code AU WA S1099- cons2607 A0191 V4 (p.127) - page numbers refer to PDF page number in digital file held by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support) in 2017; State Records Office of Western Australia, Hostels - Broome - Proposed Residential Child Care Facility, Series: 1099, Cons: 2608, Item: A4298.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser & Constance Thurley-Hart
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 17 August 2022