Kyarra Hostel, in Cue, was established in 1961 as a government-run education and employment hostel for Aboriginal primary school-age children who came from outstations and communities to the township of Cue. Some children were sent to Perth to continue their education at metropolitan high schools. Kyarra Hostel closed in 1984 and the property was transferred to the Aboriginal Lands Trust by 1987.
Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.279-280) show that Kyarra Hostel was established on 7 May 1961 with a local management committee, the Kyarra Hostel Committee. However, it was funded as a Department of Native Welfare (DNW) hostel and the DNW was responsible for the welfare of children at Kyarra. In 1971, Kyarra had 66 primary-school age boys and girls living there. Older children were being transferred to the Pallottine Centre in Riverton for further education and training. In 1972, responsibility for Kyarra was transferred to the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) in accordance with government policy at that time.
In 1979 and 1980 (Signposts pp.279-280) the DCW gave some information about the children living at Kyarra: There were '46 children from Yarraquin Station; and the Geraldton, Meekatharra and Wiluna areas…The function of the Department hostel in caring for aboriginal children so that they may have regular schooling, is expanding to provide a back-up service for families who may wish to use the facility to provide an occasional meal, a laundry service and provide homework supervision. This is the need that some families have in making the transition into homes of their own in the local township. Greater efforts are also being made to provide children and parents with opportunities to spend more time together by providing camping facilities when the parents come to town.'
In 1982, Kyarra Hostel was administered by the DCW'S field staff in its Murchison Division. By 1984, demand for places at Kyarra fell and the hostel closed in that year.
By 1987, the property that had been the Kyarra Hostel at Cue was formally transferred to the Aboriginal Lands Trust.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp. 279-281', 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: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 16 June 2014