Northam Cottages were three group Homes established by Centrecare Children's Cottages (1979-1992) and Djooraminda (from 1992) to accommodate Aboriginal children in family-type Homes. Children and young people aged up to 15 years were admitted, often in sibling groups, either referred by the department responsible for child welfare, or as private admissions. The Homes were open until at least 1994.
Northam Cottages were part of the group Homes established by Centrecare Children's Cottages from 1979 to 1980, to provide culturally-appropriate accommodation and support for Aboriginal children. When the cottages first opened, children were aged 0-5 years but by 1985 children aged 0-17 years were able to be admitted.
From at least 1983, possibly earlier, the Northam Cottages had Aboriginal cottage parents.
From 1985, Centrecare staff were concerned that children living at the Beverley and Brookton Cottages were facing discrimination in those smaller towns, and that there was a lack of local resources to adequately support young people who may have been placed there after time in detention, or after multiple other placements. Northam, a larger town with better resources, was seen as a more viable place to establish cottages. After the Brookton Cottage closed around 1988, those houseparents were transferred to one of the Northam Cottages.
In 1992, Centrecare Children's Cottages changed its name to Djooraminda and, by 1994, that agency had opened a new cottage at Northam.
Sources used to compile this entry: Djooraminda [Document], Date: February 1997; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'Nollamara Children’s Respite Home (Nollamara Hostel)', 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; 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.122) - 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: 7 November 2018