Redhill Reformatory was established in 1903 as an industrial school and 'home for neglected boys' in the Middle Swan area, on 57 hectares of land held by the Anglican Church which was used as a 'model farm'. By 1920, Redhill was described as being for 'senior' boys, but younger boys may have been sent there in earlier years. Senior boy in this era possibly meant 12 years or older.
On 31 January 1921 Redhill ceased to be a reformatory, but stayed open as a home for children and young people who were said to be 'mentally defective'. The Minutes of the Anglican Orphanage Committee in 1921 (p.555) describe Redhill's change of function from a reformatory:
'The place had been closed as an Industrial School on the 31st January. At the request of the government and by arrangement with the Archbishop, it was re-opened temporarily as a special school for mentally defectives, for 3 months when the Government would decide whether they would take it over.'
It is possible that there was a policy to send boys under the age of 14 years to Redhill, but in practice it is likely that boys who were 'simple' were kept at Redhill until their wardship expired at age 18.
Reports show that Redhill had 17 boys in residence at year end in 1910; 12 boys in 1911; 12 boys in 1920; 18 boys in 1921; and thirteen boys in 1922. These thirteen boys were sent to the Salvation Army's Seaforth Home when Redhill closed in early 1922.
08 April 2022
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE00183
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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