Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
Western Australia - Organisation

Manguri (1988 - 2002)

Anglican, Care Provider, Methodist, Presbyterian and Uniting Church

Manguri was established as an agency of the Uniting Church in 1988, as a continuation of Sister Kate's Child and Family Services. It was incorporated as an independent agency (Manguri Corporation) in 1995. Manguri provided accommodation for Aboriginal children and young people on the former Sister Kate's Children's Home site in Queen's Park and in cottages in the Perth metropolitan area. Manguri closed in 2002.


'Manguri' is a western desert (Warburton Ranges dialect) word that means a 'head ring for carrying' and which symbolised services that would focus on family support, dignity and independence. Manguri became the new name of Sister Kate's Child and Family Care Services in August 1988, and it retained its links with the Uniting church. Manguri ran cottages for children on the site of the former Sister Kate's Children's Home, Queen's Park. This site was owned by the Uniting Church's Property Trust.

Manguri was funded by child welfare authorities and government reports (Signposts2004, p.307) show that in 1988, Manguri was running the Queen's Park cottages, and the Maddington Scatter Cottage. It also arranged holiday camps for children unable to return to family during school breaks. Myola Cottage on the Queen's Park site is also recorded as re-opening November 1988.

In 1989, Manguri reported (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1988/89, February 1990, in Signposts2004, p.307) its intention to 'align child care practices with more traditional approaches to care', to 'develop a service to families that is viewed by the Noongar community as culturally and socially appropriate', and to form a Council of Elders to 'assist Manguri to establish laws which will be able to be interpreted into culturally and socially sensitive methods of delivery of service to their people.'

Following on from reports in 1989, Manguri reported in 1990 (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1989/90, February 1991 in Signposts2004, p.307) that 'the process of law and cultural retrieval' would 'include creating a register of Noongar relationships, clan groups and other family links within which Noongar families can be located with a view to child placement.' Family support and aftercare programs continued, as did the camping program. An Art Gallery was opened at Manguri in 1991, and the agency became involved in the Noongar Alcohol and Substance Abuse Service..

Markfield Cottage on the Queen's Park site reopened on April 30, 1990.

In 1994 (Signposts2004, p.307), Manguri's funded services included: Cottage care - up to 10 children in two metropolitan cottages; Community care - up to 14 children in community care in at least 8 metropolitan households; and Family Placements.

In 1999 Manguri was funded to provide 12 placements for Aboriginal children aged up to 17 years.

Manguri also provided services for young Aboriginal people who were transitioning to independent living. These services were funded through the Commonwealth/State Youth Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (YSAAP).

In 2002 after what authorities reported Signposts2004, pp305-306) as 'considerable financial difficulties and problems with management of the services' Manguri's funding was ceased and the cottages closed. Children who were in residence in Manguri's cottages were found alternative placements by the Department for Community Development prior to the closure.


1935 - 2002
Location - Manguri was located at Queen's Park. Location: Queen's Park



  • Buti, Tony, After the Removal, A submission by the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (Inc) to the National Inquiry into Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families., Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia (Inc), Perth, Western Australia, 1996. pp.287-290. Details
  • Whittington, Vera, Sister Kate: a life dedicated to children in need of care, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, Western Australia, 1999. Details


  • Uniting Church in Australia (WA Synod), Department of Media (ed.), Western Impact, 1977-2007. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Heritage Council of Western Australia, 'The Chapel of the Guardian Angel', in inHerit, Western Australia State Heritage Office, Government of Western Australia, 8 February 2015,; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.303-308, Table 24: Young People at Manguri (Sister Kate’s), Certain Years between 1935 and 1994', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004,; McDonald, Ashley, Are We Family? And if so, Can I Still Sue You?, Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Murdoch University School of Law, March 2000, paragraph 29..

Prepared by: Debra Rosser