Beverley Cottages were three 'scatter cottages' established by Centrecare Children's Cottages from 1978 to accommodate Aboriginal children in culturally-appropriate, family-type Homes: in Lukin Street (from 1978), Monger Street (from 1979) and the Ev Brown Cottage in Forrest Street (from around 1985) in the wheatbelt town of Beverley. Around 1987, the Lukin Street cottage was converted to a 'Youth House' and children who were living there participated in educational programs as a an alternative to mainstream schooling.
The Beverley Cottages were administered and supported locally by staff in an office situated in the old convent building in Lukin Street and, across the road in 'Kooloongah', was the home of the Centrecare Social Worker.
The Lukin Street cottage was established with support from a Mission Grant in Aid in 1978 and renovations were undertaken with a Grant-in-Aid in 1980. Some of the first children may have come from Wandering Mission.
By 1983, Aboriginal people were cottage parents in all the cottages. When the cottages first opened, children were aged 0-5 years but by 1985 children aged 0-17 years were able to be admitted.
In 1988, a cultural dance project was undertaken and in 1989 alternative schooling and after-school programs included other local Aboriginal children, as well as children living at Centrecare cottages in Beverley.
From 1985, government reports (Signposts, 2004, p.113) record Centrecare staff expressing concern that children living at their cottages in Beverley, including Lukin Street, were facing discrimination in the town. By 1989, one of the cottages had closed and a local advisory group was formed to discuss how to address community concerns about the children in the Youth House and the family cottage. Eventually, there was a 'strong push from town members' which was a factor in the cottages' closure. Another factor was the lack of local resources to adequately support young people who may have come to Beverley after time in detention, or after multiple other placements. The Youth House closed around 1989 and the remaining cottage had all closed by 1991.
16 April 2015
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00030
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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