Goldfields Group Home, (also known as Boulder Group Home) was established around 1980 as a government-run group home that accommodated Aboriginal children, aged 0-13 years, on a short-term or emergency basis. Most children admitted were under 5 years of age. The Goldfields Group Home closed around 1987 and was replaced by the Kalgoorlie Group Home.
The Goldfields Group Home was established by the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) in a government-owned property that they took control of in October 1980. It is likely that the Home opened some time shortly afterwards. The property had previously (1977-1980) been used by the Kurrawang Mission as a cottage for children from the mission going to school in Boulder.
Government reports (Signposts 2004, pp.223-225) show that child welfare authorities aimed to support families during times where their children could not be accommodated with extended family, but hoped to avoid taking the children into the 'care'. In 1981 DCW explained their approach in their annual report: 'The Department has been most fortunate in gaining the services of bilingual Cottage Parents able to converse in the Wongi dialects. This of course has proven an immeasurable advantage with children from the Central Reserves who speak little or no English. The Group Home also offers an alternative to hospital admission for a child who otherwise could be treated as an out-patient.'
By 1982, having been open for 18 months, the Goldfields Group Home, which was sometimes called the Boulder Group Home, had admitted more than 100 children, most of whom were returned to their families within three months of admission.
In 1984, the Home was admitting children under 13 years old who needed what the authorities described (Signposts p.224) as 'short term emergency accommodation'. Most of these children were under 5 years old and stayed for less than two weeks.
By 1987, the Goldfields Group Home had closed and was replaced by the new, purpose-built, Kalgoorlie Group Home.
1980? - 1987? Goldfields Group Home
1987 - Kalgoorlie Group Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.224-225', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 10 July 2014