Craig House was run by the Country Women's Association (CWA) from 1949 as a hostel for boys going to the Bunbury High Schoo. From 1965 it also accommodated female students. Craig House closed in 1969 due to financial issues, however was reopened in 1972 under the management of the Country High School Hostels Authority. Craig House closed in 1978.
Craig House was named after Mrs Craig, of Dardenup who had been a State President of the CWA. The National Fitness section of the Education Department intended to use Craig House as a summer camp for children from the outback.
In 1949 Craig House was located on Fraser Street, Bunbury, in premises previously owned by the Eastern Goldfields Fresh Air League (the Western Australian Heritage Council gives the address for this site as Carey Street, however in November 2021 a former resident confirmed the address for Craig House was Fraser Street). The building had been converted by the Education Department for use as a hostel. A newspaper article published in The West Australian in 1953, reporting on an outbreak of influenza at the hostel, states that it had accommodation for 58 boys.
Craig House remained at the Fraser street location until around 1965, when it merged with the local girls hostel and moved to newly constructed premises at the corner of Pickersgill, Acacia and Sherry Streets in Bunbury. This hostel, which was made up of four separate buildings connected by a covered patio, could accommodate up to 96 students in separate dormitories, however in 1966 it only housed 41 students. This site has been identified as a heritage listed site (Place No. 07167).
A former resident of Craig house who contacted Find & Connect in November 2021 stated that boys at the home were sometimes employed by Bunbury residents doing odd jobs around the town after school hours and on weekends.
Craig House closed in 1969 due to financial issues, and its association with the CWA ended. Craig House was then reopened in 1972 under the management of the Country High School Hostels Authority, before closing once more in 1978. The hostel was demolished around 1991.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Boys' Hostel Opened', The West Australian, 28 March 1949, p. 7, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47653938; 'Country Boys' Hostel', The West Australian, 25 March 1949, p. 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47653483; 'Fire in Hostel Laundry', The West Australian, 31 August 1950, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47883757; 'Bad Type of Influenza Hits Bunbury', The West Australian, 3 October 1953, p. 22, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52932197; Heritage Council of Western Australia, 'Craig House - site', in inHerit, Western Australia State Heritage Office, Government of Western Australia, 8 February 2015, http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/public/p/7167; Heritage Council of Western Australia, 'Eastern Goldfields Fresh Air League (fmr) site', in inHerit, Western Australia State Heritage Office, Government of Western Australia, 8 February 2015, http://inherit.stateheritage.wa.gov.au/public/p/7044; Miller, Shanelle and Trenwith, Courtney, 'Sex abuse allegations made against Bunbury Hostel', Bunbury Mail, Fairfax Media, 25 April 2012, http://www.bunburymail.com.au/story/111226/sex-abuse-allegations-made-against-bunbury-hostel/; 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.91) - 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 & Constance Thurley-Hart
Created: 11 March 2013, Last modified: 3 December 2021