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Western Australia - Organisation

Anglican Farm School, Stoneville (1955 - 1961)

From
1955
To
1961
Categories
Anglican, Farm School, Government-run, Home, Protestant, Reformatory and Youth Training Centre
Alternative Names
  • Hillston (also known as)
  • Stoneville (also known as)
  • Stoneville Boys' Home (also known as)

The Anglican Farm School, Stoneville was established by the government in 1955 as an 'open' reformatory for adolescent boys. It was run by a combined government-Anglican committee with the management of the Home vested with the church until April 1960. At this time the Anglican Homes Board requested to be relieved of responsibility to the Home and the Anglican Diocese of Perth joined a new joint committee with the government. The Anglican Farm School, Stoneville became known as the Hillston, Anglican Farm School, Stoneville in 1962.

Details

The 'open reformatory' that was known as the 'Anglican Farm School, Stoneville', 'Hillston', and 'Stoneville', was established by the government but run by a joint Anglican-Child Welfare Department committee between the Child Welfare Department and the Anglican Homes Board.

Roy Peterkin, a member of the committee, gave some insight into the governance arrangements in his book Noisy Mansions (1988, p.150): 'Decisions on policy were made at monthly meetings of the Management Committee…as time went on the discussions became increasingly dominated by views of the Department's representatives, which in the background there was always Treasury control…Hillston, though now included as one of the Anglican Homes, was this in name only.'

Peterkin states that in 1960, the Anglican representation on the Management Committee passed from The Anglican Homes Board to the Diocesan Council of the Anglican Diocese of Perth, and the committee was renamed the Committee of Anglican Diocesan Council and Child Welfare Department.

The Anglican Farm School, Stoneville had been established in response to a 1953 review of the Western Australian child welfare system, according to Peterkin (p.147). This review, which had been conducted by RH Hicks, the Director of Child Welfare and Social Services in New South Wales, had been critical of the existing boys' reformatory that was run by the Salvation Army. Hicks' report has never been made public in Western Australia, but Peterkin (p.146) said that Swan Homes was the only institution that 'escaped censure' and was thus chosen by the Premier to have a role in establishing a new reformatory.

The Anglican Farm School, Stoneville had been established in response to a 1953 review of the Western Australian child welfare system, according to Peterkin (p.147). This review, which had been conducted by RH Hicks, the Director of Child Welfare and Social Services in New South Wales, had been critical of the existing boys' reformatory that was run by the Salvation Army. Hicks' report has never been made public in Western Australia, but Peterkin (p.146) said that Swan Homes was the only institution that 'escaped censure' and was thus chosen by the Premier to have a role in establishing a new reformatory.

Government reports (Signposts, pp.236-237) show that the Anglican Farm School, Stoneville was meant to accommodate 20 boys but there were 35 boys at year end in 1956; 65 boys in 1957; 63 boys in 1958; 59 boys in 1959 and 43 boys in 1961. All boys placed at the Anglican Farm School, Stoneville were wards of the State and were aged between 14 and 18 years.

Most boys at the Anglican Farm School, Stoneville went to school on the property as well as doing practical work on the farm, which included growing produce, construction work, animal husbandry, using farm machinery and land-clearing. Produce from the farm was used to supply the reformatory and other child welfare facilities when there was a surplus.

Although abscondings were frequent, according to Peterkin (1988, pp.149-150) its Management Committee were keen for it to remain relatively open to better meet the objective of 're-education' rather than punishment. There was quite a lot of public cricitism that 'delinquent' boys should so easily escape. Boys slept in 'individual cabins which were locked at night' but the reformatory was situated in the bush, with no perimeter fencing so it was not difficult for boys to escape during the day.

Until 1960, boys whom authorities believed were not suited to the Anglican Farm School, Stoneville were transferred to Fremantle Prison. After 1960, boys who 'persistently absconded' were sent to Riverbank, according to Peterkin (p.150).

In 1962, the Anglican Farm School, Stoneville became known as the Hillston, Anglican Farm School, Stoneville.

Events

1955 - 1961
Location - Anglican Farm School, Stoneville was situated on 360 acres of land on Stoneville Road, Stoneville. Location: Stoneville

Timeline

 1955 - 1961 Anglican Farm School, Stoneville
       1962 - 1969 Hillston, Anglican Farm School, Stoneville
             1969 - 1984 Hillston, Stoneville

Related Archival Items

Related Events

Related Organisations

Publications

Books

  • Peterkin, A. Roy, The Noisy Mansions : the story of Swanleigh 1868-1971, Perth Diocesan Trustees, Anglican Church of Australia, Midland, Western Australia, 1986. pp.147, 149-150. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.234-237', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Peterkin, A. Roy, The Noisy Mansions : the story of Swanleigh 1868-1971, Perth Diocesan Trustees, Anglican Church of Australia, Midland, Western Australia, 1986. pp.147, 149-150.; Email from Diocesan Archivist, Anglican Diocese of Perth, 30 July 2014.

Prepared by: Debra Rosser