Alvan House was established in 1950 by the Department of Native Affairs to provide metropolitan accommodation for Aboriginal schoolgirls in Mount Lawley. In 1959, responsibility for running Alvan House passed to the Baptist Union and Aboriginal 'working boys' rather than female students, were accommodated. In 1961, Katukutu Employment Hostel moved into the premises.
Alvan House was established in 1950 with the personal support of the Commissioner for Native Affairs, Stanley Middleton. Its purpose was to provide hostel accommodation for 'near white' Aboriginal girls attending high school in Perth. There was a lot of community opposition to locating the hostel in Mt Lawley. The press was allowed access to Alvan House, and articles about the girls participating in community activities were not uncommon. It opened with the first residents in situ on 17 January 1951.
All residents of Alvan House were under the guardianship of the Commissioner for Native Welfare.
In 1959, responsibility for running Alvan House was passed to the Baptist Union and Aboriginal male students and young workers were accommodated instead of females. In 1961, the Katukutu Employment Hostel moved into the Alvan House premises. At that time, the house was described as having eight bedrooms for residents, a dining room, large kitchen, two toilets, and two bedrooms for houseparents.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, https://signposts.communities.wa.gov.au//pdf/pdf.aspx; Longworth, Alison, Was it worthwhile?, An historical analysis of five women missionaries and their encounters with the Nyungar people of south-west Australia, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 2005, http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/163/2/02Whole.pdf. pp.298-299.; 'Western Australia Protectors Reports 1899-1959', in To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal Lives Under Control [website], Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Library of Australia, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/western-australia. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Native Welfare 1959 p.8..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 21 April 2016