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Western Australia - Organisation

Adamson House (1938 - 1990)

Government-run, Home and Hostel

Adamson House was established in Northam in 1938 by the Country Women's Association (CWA). It provided accommodation for girls going to Northam High School. Adamson House became co-educational in 1987, and senior students were accommodated there. It closed in 1990 and the remaining students were transferred to St Christopher's Hostel, Northam.


The CWA leased a home from 'Mrs Fred Rewell' so the hostel could open in time for the start of the 1938 school year. It was the first CWA school hostel and was later named after its founder, Mrs Mary Adamson of Haisthorpe, Beverley, who was the president of the western division of the CWA.

From 1969, management of Adamson House merged with the nearby St Christopher's Hostel, Northam, which was for boys.

Adamson House became the site for Northam Residential College in 2003.

In 2011, the Special Inquiry into St Andrew's Hostel, Katanning heard testimony that a female warden at the hostel was being 'investigated by police for sexual misconduct allegations' in 1987. Evidence about earlier concerns about a male staff member being near to the girls' showers was also mentioned at the Inquiry.


1938 - 1990
Location - Adamson House operated from Inkpen Street, Northam. Location: Northam


 1938 - 1990 Adamson House
       1941 - 2002 St Christopher's Hostel, Northam
             2003 - Northam Residential College

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Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Hostel for Girls at Northam', Sunday Times, 9 January 1938, p. 25,; 'Northam High School [C.W.A. Hostel for Country Girls]', The West Australian, 7 January 1938, p. 6,; Welcome to the website of the Country Women's Association of Western Australia (Inc), Country Womens Association of WA, 2008,; Northam Residential College - History, Northam Residential College, 2012,; Public Sector Commission, Western Australia, 'Inquiry - St Andrew's Hostel - Public Hearing Transcript – 3 May 2012 p.2554; 8 May 2012 pp.2755-2756, 2759-2760; 25 May 2012 pp.3466, 3474, 3484, 3514', Transcripts [St Andrew's Hostel Inquiry], Government of Western Australia, 19 September 2012,; Public Sector Commission, St Andrew's Hostel Inquiry, Government of Western Australia, 19 September 2012, Chapter 13, pp.267-268, 272..

Prepared by: Debra Rosser