Shiloh, in Broomehill, south of Katanning, was a farm school for up to 16 boys who were wards of the State, referred by the Child Welfare Department. It was run independently by Mr and Mrs Beeck on their farm, 'Langwell'. Boys went to school on the property. Shiloh's aim was to reform 'delinquent' boys through long-term placements and the development of farm skills. Shiloh closed in 1963.
In a 1963 education thesis (p.65), Lawrence Whitmore described Shiloh in some detail. The home, he wrote was large, with 'numerous bedrooms' and the property was completely unfenced, so that there was 'no physical force barring an inmate's escape, if he wishes to make such a move'. The boys who were placed at Shiloh by child welfare authorities were all considered to be 'delinquent'.
According to Whitmore (pp.69-70) 53 boys had been sent to Shiloh in the ten years since it opened, there had rarely been more than 16 boys housed there at any one time, and some boys had been there for more than eight years.
Shiloh was run by Mrs Beeck on what Whitmore (pp.70-77) described as Christian principles, being: companionship (friendliness); acceptance; security ('the majority of those sent to Shiloh know what it is to feel insecure'); disciplining, consisting of 'reasonable limits', 'consistent application', 'punishment…is designed to fit the offender and the offence', and 'self control'; faith, including 'morals and religion'. It was a Protestant organisation, but accepted children from all denominations.
Boys attended a school on site and were actively engaged in all aspects of farm work.
Shiloh closed in 1963.
In 2021, the Western Australian government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
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; Shiloh Home [Image], Date: 1963; Whitmore, Lawrence, The Problem Child at Shiloh, January 1963. pp. 62, 64..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 7 December 2021