Withnell House was located in the Perth suburb of Mount Lawley. It was a hostel run by the Salvation Army from 1952 for boys who were Wards (migrant or Australian-born) who worked in the city. Withnell House ceased to be a hostel for boys in 1969. From that time, the building became known "Withnell House Girls' Home"; it accommodated residents and staff from transferred to Mount Lawley from the former Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe.
Withnell House, Mt Lawley, was donated to the Salvation Army by Mrs Ellen Withnell in 1948. Some time after this, it was used by the Salvation Army Boys' Home, Nedlands, as an annexe. In September 1952, Withnell House became the Salvation Army's first Youth Hostel.
Withnell House closed in 1969. It is possible that any boys in residence at the hostel at time were transferred to the Hollywood Children's Village in Nedlands. In 1969, the building became a Salvation Army home for girls (residents and staff were transferred to Mount Lawley from the Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe). Because of this, the Mount Lawley home was sometimes called 'Cottesloe House'. Its official name was 'Withnell House Girls' Home'.
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; Kirkham, Lt-Col John C, Southern Soup-Soap-Salvation, a compendium of Salvation Army Social Services in the Australian Southern Territory, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Territorial Archives and Museum, 2003. p. 145.; Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory and The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory, 'Submission No. 46, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territorial Headquarters (VIC), Attchments, Appendix A, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Childrens Homes, A list of openings, closings and function', in Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care, Parliament of Australia website, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, July 2003, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist. p. 145.; Withnell House [Document], Date: 2005; 'Serving the community in Western Australia', 1966?-1969? (fundraising pamphlet held by the Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA) Cottesloe Girls Closed Social Work (1898-1998) file, document titled 'Cottesloe Girls Home'. Withnell House Child Home Closed (1952 - 2009) file, document 'Withnell House, description 1980s'.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser and Rebe Taylor
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 23 July 2015