Nindeebai Education Hostel, in Boulder, was established in 1971 or 1972 as a government-run education hostel for Aboriginal teenagers who were going to high school in Kalgoorlie. It closed in 1984.
Nindeebai Education Hostel, which was purpose-built in 1971, was originally going to be known as the Goldfields Students' Hostel, but the annual report of the Department for Community Welfare (DCW) in 1973 (p.44) shows that it was known as Nindeebai very soon after it began. The annual reports of child welfare authorities over the years (Signposts, 2004, p.375) show that students came from all over the goldfields and beyond. In 1977, there were 32 residents who came mainly from the Central Reserves. These teenagers suffered from homesickness and found it difficult to adjust to hostel life. Authorities reported that families were encouraged to visit 'whenever possible'. In 1979, the Nindeebai accommodated 'children from the Mount Margaret Mission, the Laverton, Leonora and Norseman areas; and from Cue, via Perth.' The Mount Margaret Mission had closed by the time this report was written, but it remained a township.
Nindeebai Hostel, was one of three facilities run in Kalgoorlie-Boulder by the DCW in 1976. The others were: Kalgoorlie Hostel, for working-age girls; and the Millen Street Hostel, for working-age boys. The DCW reported (Signposts, p.375) in 1979 that there was close cooperation between staff at the three hostels, which they said benefited the residents.
In 1981, the DCW (Signposts, p.254) wrote that it wanted to provide 'as many options as possible' for the young women who came in from what authorities deemed 'fragmented families in fringe dwelling communities'. Staff at the hostels were reportedly trying to provide 'fuller programmes' to assist this goal.
Nindeebai closed in 1984.
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.375-376', 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; Western Australia. Department for Community Welfare, Annual Report: Department for Community Welfare, Dept. For Community Welfare, [Perth], 1973-1984, http://catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au/record=b1410539~S7. Annual Report 1973, p.44.; State Records Office of Western Australia, Wards - Director's Approval to Transfer from one Institution to Another and Amend Training, Reference Code AU WA S1099- cons2607 A0191 V4 (p.212) - page numbers refer to PDF page number in digital file held by the Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support) in 2017.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 22 November 2018