The WA School for Deaf Children was established in East Perth in 1896 as the West Australian Deaf and Dumb Instution. It moved to Buckland Hill (Mosman Park) in 1900. This residential school admitted children of all ages, including those who were wards of the state and private boarders, until the residential section closed in 2001.
The WA School for Deaf Children was established in Perth in 1896 and was named the 'West Australian Deaf and Dumb Institution' (1897), the Western Australian School for the Deaf and Dumb (1920), the WA School for Deaf Children (1956) and the Mosman Park Hostel (1967?). It was a residential school for children who were deaf and/or mute, and was run by a private committee of management. Children of all ages, including wards of the State and private boarders, lived at the School.
The school was originally located in East Perth and on 22 March 1900 it moved near Cottesloe Beach in Buckland Hill. From 1907 the suburb, Buckland Hill, was known as Mosman Park after the Buckland Hill Road Board adopted that name for the suburb. The boarding facilities closed in 2001 and the school moved from the site in 2002.
From 1899, the Aborigines Department had placed an Aboriginal boy at the Deaf and Dumb Institution, Perth as it was then called, on an annual subsidy of £25. By 1907, this had been reduced to £16 and no further mention of the boy was made in subsequent reports.
Until 1970, the Principal of the school was also the Superintendent of boarders. In 1949, the Education Department took over responsibility for the teaching staff and in 1970 took full responsibility for the children's education. The Superintendent of boarders was no longer responsible for the children's education.
In 2004, Signposts reported there were few statistics about the number of children at the WA Deaf School:
The only details about the number of children resident at the facility are drawn from the Annual Reports of the Child Welfare Department for the certain years between 1935 and 1968. These numbers comprise only children under six years of age who were not subsidised by the Department. Their numbers were reported in the Department's Annual Reports because it was a legislative requirement. The details given are: 1935: 2 children; 1936: 3 children; 1942: 2 children; 1943: 2 children; 1944: 1 child; 1945: 2 children; 1946: 1 child; 1952: 4 children; 1954: 1 child; 1956: 3 children; 1957: 4 children; 1958: 1 child; 1959: 3 children; 1960: 2 children; 1968: 3 children.Signposts p.532
The committee of management retained responsibility for the children and young people boarding on site. The Mosman Park Hostel was the name given to the hostel for boarders at the WA School for the Deaf from around 1967. Previously, teaching and boarding areas were in the same building. In 1964, the Education Department built new school rooms and the main building was used entirely for boarders until the hostel closed in 2001.
1896 - 2001 WA School for Deaf Children
2004 - West Australian Foundation for Deaf Children (Inc.)
Sources used to compile this entry: The House on the Hill - The First Hundred Years of the School for Deaf Children in Western Australia 1896-1996, The WA School for Deaf Children Inc. Board of Management Perth WA, Perth, Western Australia, 1996. pp. 3, 6, 16, 28-29, 47, 180, 186-188, 191.; 'Western Australian Foundation for Deaf Children records, 1897-1999 [manuscript]', in State Library of Western Australia website, State Library of Western Australia, 6 January 2011, http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/pdf/mn/mn2501_3000/mn2742.pdf. p.1.; '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. Aborigines Department. Report for financial year ending 30th June, 1900, p.4; Aborigines Department. Report for financial year ending 30th June, 1907, p.16.; State Records Office Western Australia, 'Methodist Home: St Vincent's Foundling Home and Parkerville Home and others: List of foster children and removals, etc.' Series 3172 Cons 1031 Item 1922/1457 v1. 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.9. 49, 71) - 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: 4 October 2018