Yawarra Training School was established at Kurri Kurri by the Child Welfare Department in 1969. It was for young men under the age of eighteen years transferred from Corrective Services. The School provided facilities to train the boys in a craft or trade. Yawarra closed in 1979 and was converted to a unit for males aged 18 to 21 for a year. It then became a Coal Training College.
Yawarra was purpose-built by the Child Welfare Department and gazetted on 2 May 1969 under the Child Welfare Act as a school for the reception, detention, maintenance, discipline, education and training of children and young persons committed to such institution.
The new home provided accommodation for 200 boys aged 16-18 in four separate homes each of which housed 44 boys. The complex contained a privilege cottage for boys being prepared for return to the community. The program was aimed at vocational education with boys receiving training in semiskilled and technical trades, such as mechanics.
The Child Welfare Department made a point in its 1969 Annual Report of Yawarra being the first training school to be built with a pool, and the first to provide training in radio and television repair and maintenance.
Yawarra had its own radio station, 2YA, and exchanged programs with 2DA the radio station at Daruk Boys' Training School. School education was also available including remedial lessons and boys were prepared for the School Certificate or took technical courses by correspondence. There was also an emphasis on sporting activities.
Sources used to compile this entry: Child Welfare Department, Annual Report: Child Welfare Department of New South Wales, New South Wales government, 1923-1970. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf; 'Yawarra Training School for Boys', in State Records Authority of New South Wales website, State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority of NSW 2016, https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/agency/569.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 23 March 2011, Last modified: 15 May 2017