Fitzroy Crossing Group Homes, or Burawa, provided government-run accommodation for up to eight Aboriginal children with Aboriginal house parents in three Homes. By 1979 there was only one Home open and it was converted to a hostel in 1980. In around 1987 Burawa became part of the Junjuwa Community.
Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.205-207) show that the Fitzroy Crossing Group Homes were established together in 1976 to replace the dormitory-style hostel that had been operating in Fitzroy Crossing since the 1950s. The Fitzroy Crossing Group Homes were established and run by the Department for Community Welfare (DCW), but with onsite management and advice from what the Department called (p.205) a 'representative Aboriginal committee', supported by specialist departmental staff. There was a stated desire to involve Aboriginal parents and communities in their children's placement.
By 1979, the DCW was reporting (Signposts p.206) that the provision of education services at Aboriginal outback communities meant that there was less need for children to come and stay in Fitzroy Crossing to go to school and only one of the original three group homes remained open. It is likely that this remaining Home was called 'Burawa'.
From 1980, Burawa was converted into a hostel. It continued to house school children, mostly children from cattle stations in the area. The DCW's annual report in 1980 said that the Home also provided 'back up' services for families - with meals, homework supervision and a laundry service.
By 1984, the hostel in Fitzroy Crossing was reported as accommodating school children from the Muludja Community, which was only 40 kilometres from town but had no bus service. These children lived in the hostel during the week and went home at weekends.
In 1987, Burawa was transferred to the Junjuwa Community.
1956? - 1976 Fitzroy Crossing Hostel
1976 - 1987? Fitzroy Crossing Group Homes
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.206-208', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx.
Prepared by: Anna Trengove, Leanne Howard and Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 9 October 2014