Government Receiving Depot (Subiaco 1907; West Perth 1916; Mount Lawley 1921) was the new name given in 1907 to the Government Industrial School and Receiving Depot. All children committed under the State Children Act 1907 were sent to the Government Receiving Depot before being boarded out, or placed in an 'orphanage' or industrial school (reformatory). It continued under the name, Government Receiving Home, from 1935.
The Government Receiving Depot, Subiaco continued the Government Industrial School and Receiving Depot from 1907. It gave temporary accommodation to children who were taken into 'care' as they awaited placement with foster parents or institutions. It also accommodated children who were awaiting medical or dental treatment in Perth, or who were scheduled for appearance at the Children's Court. Private admissions were also accommodated.
The Government Receiving Depot moved location twice. Originally in Subiaco, it relocated to West Perth in 1916 and to new buildings in Mount Lawley in 1921.
Although its name wasn't changed in the statistics of the Child Welfare Department until 1935, photographs published in the 1926 annual report refer to Receiving Depot as the 'Government Receiving Home for Children'.
A letter of appreciation of the The Daily News Orphans' Christmas Cheer Fund in 1915 gives an insight into life at the Receiving Depot. The letter shows that donations enabled the children to occasionally have extras that were not part of their daily experience:
[Matron] divided half the money amongst the elder children, who were taken by the assistant matron to the city on Christmas Eve to purchase their own presents. Toys and Christmas stockings were bought for the infants, and the balance expended in fruit and cordials for the Christmas dinner. Letter, 27 December 1915 published in The Daily News 2 December 1916, p.10
1893 - 1907 Government Industrial School
1907 - 1935 Government Receiving Depot
1935 - 1952 Government Receiving Home
1953 - 1972 Child Welfare Reception Home
1973 - 1980 Mt Lawley Reception Home
1980 - 1984 Walcott Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: Annual report of the State Children Department, State Children's Department, [Perth, W.A.], 1908-1927. 1920; 1922, p.3; 1927.; 'The Daily News [Christmas Cheer Fund]', The Daily News, 2 December 1916, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article81358001; Department for Community Welfare, History of the Department 1829-1979, 1979; Heritage Council of Western Australia, 'Walcott Centre', in inHerit, Western Australia State Heritage Office, Government of Western Australia, 8 February 2015, http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/public/p/15731; 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.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 19 March 2012, Last modified: 23 July 2015