Merredin Residential College is a hostel for children going to the Merredin High School. It was established and run by the Anglican Church from February 1954, under the control of a local management committee. At this time, it was known as St Michael's Hostel. From 1962, the Country High School Hostels Authority ran St Michael's Hostel under agreement with the Anglican Church.
Neil McKenna, who was convicted in 2012 for sexually abusing a child in his care while at St Andrew's Hostel in Katanning, was a relief supervisor at St Michael's Hostel in Merredin towards the end of 1991. Evidence about this was given in testimony to the Special Inquiry into St Andrew's Hostel, Katanning. The Inquiry heard that children who lived at the Merredin Hostel in 1978-79 'weren't properly looked after' and there are accounts of the physical abuse suffered by former residents at the hands of other children who lived at the hostel.
Testimony was also given about a 'tragic' bus accident in which six students and a hostel manager were killed on the way back from a football game in the 1980s.
It was also stated in evidence to the Inquiry that the Merredin hostel had financial difficulties during the early 1990s.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Letters to the Editor [School Hostel]', The West Australian, 8 February 1954, p. 11, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49615926; Redress WA Guidelines: Guidelines to Provide for an Ex Gratia Payment to Persons Abused and/or Neglected as Children While in State Care, Government of Western Australia, 18 May 2011; Public Sector Commission, Western Australia, 'Inquiry - St Andrew's Hostel - Public Hearing Transcript - 20 February 2012 p.9; 13 April 2012 pp.1773-1777, 1796-1797, 1800-1802; 3 May 2012 pp.2467, 2595; 8 May 2012 p.2764; 25 May 2012 p.3466 [St Michael's]; 20 June 2012 pp.3860-3864, 3870-3871; 12 July 2012 pp.4204-4218', Transcripts [St Andrew's Hostel Inquiry], Government of Western Australia, 19 September 2012, http://www.publicsector.wa.gov.au/public-administration/sector-performance-and-oversight/reviews-investigations-and-special-inquiries/special-inquiries/st-andrews-hostel-inquiry/transcripts; Public Sector Commission, St Andrew's Hostel Inquiry, Government of Western Australia, 19 September 2012, http://www.publicsector.wa.gov.au/public-administration/sector-performance-and-oversight/reviews-investigations-and-special-inquiries/special-inquiries/st-andrews-hostel-inquiry. p.229..
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 16 January 2012, Last modified: 12 November 2018