Warralea was a government-run hostel established around 1973 in Yokine. It accommodated Aboriginal boys going to primary and high school in Perth. It may have become a group home by 1979. From 1984, Warralea was a community support hostel for boys and girls aged 6-17 years. Warralea closed in 1986 and the building was used by child welfare authorities for a range of non-residential programs.
Warralea was established around 1973 by the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) (Signposts 2004, pp.555-557) as a hostel for Aboriginal boys from rural and regional Western Australia who had come to Perth for primary or high school. At this time, Warralea was one of a number of Aboriginal education and employment hostels in Perth, and the boys were likely to have come from all over the State.
It is unclear from government reports how long Warralea continued as a school hostel. In 1979 (Signposts p.555), it was described as a 'family group home'. This may just indicate the size of the hostel (accommodating around 10-12 children) or it may indicate that the DCW was using Warralea as a general placement facility for children, male and female, of all ages.
In 1984, Warralea became what the DCW called a 'community support hostel', with an emphasis on children and young people who were facing 'varied and complex' challenges. Government reports (Signposts p.556) describe Warralea's function at that time as 'providing skilled care' for children who authorities believed would not settle well into an emergency foster placement. Reports from that period indicate that many of the children admitted to Stuart House may have faced significant and complex challenges in their life and needed 'behavioural stabilisation and training' to assist children with social relationships and subsequent placements. At this time, Warralea was likely to have been admitting up to eight children and young people aged 6-17 years.
Warralea's residential program closed in 1986 and child welfare authorities continued to use the building as a foster placement and assessment service.
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; State Records Office of Western Australia, Wards - Director's Approval to Transfer from one Institution to Another and Amend Training, Reference Code AU WA S1099- cons2607 A0191 V4 (p.267, 360) - page numbers refer to PDF page number in digital file held by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support) in 2017.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 4 October 2018