The Catholic Diocese of Perth began in 1845 and extended from Albany to Darwin. Its vast territory was reduced over the years with the establishment of other Catholic Dioceses in Western Australia. From its beginning, the Perth Diocese has been active in the establishment and operation of Orphanages, Industrial Schools, Missions and Children's Homes around the colony and State. Many residential facilities and placement agencies for children have also been run by Catholic religious orders or social welfare service agencies. In 1913, the Diocese of Perth was elevated to the Archdiocese of Perth.
The Catholic Church has been involved in out of home care in Western Australia since the early days of European settlement. In latter years, this involvement has resulted in much controversy.
The Catholic Church in Western Australia has had a long history of involvement in out of home care. The Bishop of Perth was been a key figure in the establishment and operation of orphanages, Industrial Schools, Missions and Children's Homes around the colony and State. A number of residential facilities were run by Catholic religious orders or social welfare service agencies. These religious orders included: the Benedictines; the Christian Brothers; the Sisters of Mercy; the Oblates of Mary Immaculate; the Pallottines (Society of the Catholic Apostolate); the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; the Sisters of St John of God; and the Sisters of Nazareth. In addition, the Schoenstatt Sisters were involved with the Wandering (St Xavier) Mission, the Presentation Sisters with Christian Brothers' institutions, and the Sisters of St Joseph ran St Joseph's Preventorium, Kellerberrin.
1845 - 1913 Catholic Diocese of Perth
1913 - Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
Sources used to compile this entry: Catholic Archdiocese of Perth [website], http://www.perthcatholic.org.au; Hetherington, Penelope, Paupers, Poor Relief and Poor Housing in Western Australia 1829 to 1910, UWA Publishiing, Crawley, Western Australia, 2009; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 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; Report of the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on the State Children Act Amendment Bill [Document], Date: 19 November 1918.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 20 June 2011, Last modified: 27 April 2018