Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.557-558) show that Warramia Group Home was established on a 1,500 hectare farm property that had been donated to child welfare authorities. In 1972, the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) intended that Warramia would house up to eight primary-school children in a family-type environment with a cottage mother. The children who would be placed at Warramia were described in the DCW's annual report in 1974 (Signposts p.557) as children 'who need a relaxed, stabilising experience prior to longer-term placement'.
During this period Warramia was also used by the DCW as a place where boys at the Hillston detention centre could be sent to learn farm skills. By 1974, the DCW saw greater value in Warramia being an 'annexe' of Hillston that being a group home for younger children.
In 1980 (Signposts p.557), the DCW outlined the relationships between Warramia and Hillston: 'Prior to discharge to farm employment selected boys at Hillston gain experience on the Department's 1500 hectare property at Badgingarra. Hillston services the property and benefits with supplies of meat and fodder'.
By 1981, authorities were becoming concerned about the number of boys running away from Warramia. Referrals from Hillston either stopped or slowed by 1982. It is unclear what purpose Warramia served between 1982 and 1989, when it was reported by the Department for Community Services (Signposts p.558), that Warramia offered a five-week program 'during the normal farming cycles and during the summer holidays. Children, drawn mainly from country areas, were taught farm and personal development skills'.
In 1993, Warramia was transferred to the Ministry of Justice. It continued as a farm school for young people involved in the youth justice system and was closed around 2004.
21 November 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00236
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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