The Maria Goretti Home opened in 1968 on the site of the former Holy Child Orphanage in Broome. It was run by the Catholic Diocese of Broome as a residential nursery and kindergarten for up to 12 Aboriginal babies and children, especially those born at the Derby Leprosarium. Many of the children would have been placed by child welfare authorities, but private admissions would also have been possible. The Home later became part of a youth centre which also included an infants' school. The Maria Goretti Home closed in 1974.
Government reports Signposts 2004, p.312) show that the Maria Goretti Home opened in 1968 on the 'newly renovated' site formerly occupied by the Holy Child Orphanage. When it opened, 11 children under the age of four years were admitted. The Home was administered and staffed 'by lay missionaries'. Later, a youth centre, school for 'infants' and club rooms and amenities for the basketball court, were added. 'Plagued by high overheads and minimal income the home was forced to close in 1974'.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.312-313', 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; State Solicitor's Office of Western Australia, Guide to Institutions Attended by Aboriginal People in Western Australia, Government of Western Australia, 2005, http://web.archive.org/web/20140126131607/http://www.dpc.wa.gov.au/lantu/MediaPublications/Documents/Guide-to-Institutions-attended-by-Aboriginal-people-in-WA-2005.pdf.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 16 June 2014