Somerville Homes Inc
Henry Street Cottage opened in Stuart Park in 1969. Run by Somerville Homes Incorporated it was one of six cottages which made up Somerville Cottage Homes. It accommodated up to eight children aged between 4 and 16 years under the supervision of cottage parents. The Cottage closed in 1981.
Henry Street Cottage opened in 1969 in the Darwin suburb of Rapid Creek. It was one of six family group homes known as Somerville Cottage Homes. The Homes were run by Somerville Homes Incorporated, an association established by the United Church in Northern Australian and the Methodist Overseas Mission. Henry Street Cottage provided care for up to eight children, both Aboriginal and non Aboriginal, aged between 4 and 16 years under the supervision of cottage parents.
The other Somerville Cottage Homes were located in Chapman Road, Clarke Crescent, Trower Road and Fox Crescent in Rapid Creek and Luxton Street in Stuart Park.
In an early pamphlet, Henry Street cottage was also referred to as Malila Cottage, carrying on the name of one of the cottages on Croker Island, from where many of the first children in Somerville Cottage Homes came. This name appears to have been used rarely as all of the Cottages were generally referred to by their street addresses.
Henry Street Cottage was damaged by Cyclone Tracy in December 1974 and therefore closed as a cottage for children. No children were present at the time of the cyclone as all were on holiday placements interstate. The building was repaired and ready to be re-occupied in March 1975. It continued to operate as a family group home until 1981.
Sources used to compile this entry: NTRS 50 Uniting Church of Australia, Northern Synod: Records relating to child care, Somerville Homes, Darwin, 1964-1979; NTRS 630/P2 82/3726 Welstat Children in Care.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 30 August 2012, Last modified: 14 March 2014