• Organisation

Katukutu Employment Hostel


Katakutu was established in 1958, as an independently-managed hostel in Mount Lawley to accommodate young Aboriginal men coming to Perth to work from rural Western Australia. In 1961, Katukutu moved nearby into premises that had been Alvan House and by 1966 was run by the Baptist Union. It became a government-run facility by 1974, possibly also accommodating students, and operated until at least 1982.

Katakutu was established in 1958 by Mr and Mrs Robert and Betty McKeich, as an Aboriginal education and employment hostel, to accommodate young Aboriginal men from the country who came to Perth for training, work or study. Its name means, ‘To the top’. At that time, Katakutu was supported by a committee formed from members of the Dalkeith Baptist Church and some people from other denominations. Beginning in rented premises in Almondbury Street, Mount Lawley, Katakutu moved in 1961 to premises at 28 Alvan Street that had been acquired by the Baptist Union from the Department of Native Welfare.

In government records, Katukutu is named and spelled various ways including Kath Kutu, Katukuta Hostel and Katakuta Hostel.

By 1966, Katakutu was under the control of the Baptist Union of Western Australia, with management by the Baptist Aborigines Mission committee.

In a survey in 1971, Katukutu was described as being run along principles consistent with a ‘fundamentalist Baptist’ approach.

In 1975, Katakutu provided short-term hostel accommodation for up to fourteen male Aboriginal youth of working age, with an average length of stay being nine months. At that stage, facilities at Katukutu included: six bedrooms (four doubles and two sleeping three or more), three bathrooms and toilets; a lounge and dining room; separate staff toilet; table tennis/pool table; television, radiogram and library.

Katukutu operated under a funding agreement with the Department for Native Welfare until 1972 and then the Department for Community Welfare until 1973. By 1974, Katukutu was government-run for an unknown period, and possibly accommodated students as well as young Aboriginal workers. By 2004, the premises at Alvan Street were used as a Parent Help Centre.

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  • 1958 - 1961

    Katukutu was situated at 17 Almondbury Road, Mount Lawley, Western Australia (Building Still standing)

  • 1961 - 1982?

    Katukutu was situated at 28 Alvan Street, on the corner of Queen's Crescent, Mount Lawley, Western Australia (Building Still standing)


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