The Catholic Archdiocese of Perth began when Catholic Diocese of Perth was elevated in 1913. The Archdiocese continued to be active in the establishment and operation of children's institutions and Homes in Western Australia. It was also involved in the Catholic Immigration Scheme, and ran the agencies Catholic Family Welfare Bureau (later Centrecare) and the Professional Standards Resource Group WA. Many residential facilities and placement agencies for children have also been run by Catholic religious orders or social welfare service agencies.
The Archdiocese of Perth is located in Perth, the capital city of the State of Western Australia. It is bounded in the north by the Diocese of Geraldton, in the east by the South Australian border, and in the south by the Diocese of Bunbury and by the Southern Ocean in its south-east corner. Perth is the Metropolitan See for the Province of Western Australia which includes the Dioceses of Bunbury, Geraldton and Broome. The Archdiocese of Perth has historically had significant influence over the out of home care activities in these other Dioceses.
The Archdiocese has established the agencies Centrecare Children's Cottages and Djooraminda.
The Catholic Diocese of Broome was also involved in out of home care and Missions in the Kimberleys.
Giving evidence to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on the State Children Act Amendment Bill in October 1918, Archbishop Patrick Clune reported there were 462 children in Catholic orphanages and industrial schools (326 'Government' and 136 'private' children). The Archbishop gave evidence for the Catholic institutions regulated under the State Children Act 1907 and said that 'the most critical time' for the young people was 'when they leave' the institution. He was advocating that the institutions were 'quite as capable' as the State Children Department in finding employment, apprenticeships and 'service' positions for these young people. The Archbishop was keen to remind the Committee about the 'tacit understanding' on which the churches based their involvement in industrial schools and orphanages: that they 'should have free play in regard to religious and moral influences' and that any additional legislation that 'would interfere with those influences up to the age of 18 would not be good'. The Archbishop agreed that he 'had not a shadow of complaint' with the existing system of regulation and would be 'satisfied with any other reasonable change which might be made'.
1845 - 1913 Catholic Diocese of Perth
1913 - Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
Sources used to compile this entry: Catholic Archdiocese of Perth [website], http://www.perthcatholic.org.au; 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.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser and Rebe Taylor
Created: 15 August 2014, Last modified: 7 November 2017