Millington Street Bethel Home, Ardross, was established in 1962 in the private home of the founders of Bethel Inc, an independent mission society. From 1964, it was run by Bethel Inc for up to 12 Aboriginal students, male and female, going to high school in Perth. It had closed by 1982.
The home of Don and Meg Shedley, who founded Bethel Inc was located at 2 Millington Street, Ardross. In 1962, the Shedley's accommodated two Aboriginal girls who attended the government high school nearby. By 1964, the Shedleys banded together with other Christians to form an independent mission society that became known as Bethel Inc. One of the aims of the society was to purchase houses that could be used for Aboriginal students who could not live at home while undertaking their schooling. The first house used for this purpose in Perth was the Shedley home at Millington Street, for which Bethel Inc paid a nominal rent.
By 1970, Millington Street was surveyed as part of a government project to determine what facilities existed for in Perth for Aboriginal students from country Western Australia. At this time, it was reported (Wilson and Robinson, 1971, in Signposts 2004, p.339) that there were seven young people living at Millington Street and there was 'little of the obsessive tidiness and clinical atmosphere' which the authors felt were apparent in other student hostels. 'Residents', they continued, 'are encouraged to make full use of the resources of the house, to alter their environment and give reign to individual expression.' The authors observed that there appeared to be a sense of 'belonging' between the young people and the cottage parents.
Millington Street continued during the 1970s and had closed by 1982.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.339-340', 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; Shedley, Don and Shedley, Meg, Black and white best together: the Bethel story, Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia, 2007. pp.68-93..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 16 June 2014