Darlot Street Hostel, Meekatharra, was a government-run hostel established in 1981 to accommodate mainly Aboriginal children going to school in Meekatharra. By 1983, a second hostel (in Consols Road) was opened, giving child welfare authorities the ability to place boys and girls in separate hostels. Darlot Street seems to have accommodated girls. By 1986, it is possible that Darlot Street was also used for emergency accommodation for young children. It was transferred to the Aboriginal Lands Trust by 1987.
Government records (Signposts 2004, pp.331-332) are unclear when they refer to the two Meekatharra Hostels. The first hostel, which was probably in Darlot Street, was located in a 'transportable' building and could accommodate 12 children from surrounding areas who could live there and go to high school in Meekatharra. It seems that the first 10 children were admitted at the start of the 1981 school year. They were all girls, possibly from the Wiluna area.
By the start of the 1983 school year, another hostel had been erected and it housed boys, mostly from the Wiluna area. It is likely that this hostel was in Consols Road, on the corner of Douglas Street.
By 1986, one of the hostels was being used for emergency care of, mainly, pre-school aged children. This suggests that the demand for high school boarding was falling. It is possible, but not certain that Darlot Street was used for this purpose.
In the 1986-1987 year, the Darlot Street hostel was transferred to the Aboriginal Lands Trust and its role in instutional out of home care ceased.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 5 August 2014