Cornelie Home was the name given in 1898 to the Salvation Army's rescue Home when it moved to North Perth (Highgate) from Perth (East Perth). It accommodated single mothers, pregnant women, elderly women and women who had been released from prison. In 1903 the maternity program transferred to The Open Door, (which later became 'Hillcrest'), in North Fremantle and Cornelie was renamed 'Graceville'.
Cornelie Home was the name given in 1898 to the Salvation Army's rescue Home when it moved to North Perth (Highgate) from Perth (East Perth).
The 1900 report of the Aborigines Department showed that the Salvation Army Rescue Home received grants of £3 5s. It is likely that this referred to the Cornelie Home. The Chief Protector, Henry Prinsep referred in the report (p.4) to the 'occasional help in the care of children' given by the Salvation Army'.
The Cornelie Home was a fifteen-room house, purpose-built as a Rescue Home for women and maternity home for 'unmarried girls' on land granted by the Government in Highgate. In an overview written in 1984, Cornelie's residents were described as 'elderly, destitute or alcoholic women, un-wed mothers, deserted wives, women on release from prison or young offenders'.
In 1899, the Kalgoorlie Miner reported there were nine 'children and adults' admitted during the year to the Perth Rescue Home, as Cornelie was also called, with 14 people at the Home at May 31. Eight of the infants and children who had been in the Home during the year 'went to situations with their mothers, eight remained in the Home and one was adopted, while four died.'
The maternity section of Cornelie transferred to North Fremantle in 1903 (to the Open Door, which later became 'Hillcrest').
After the maternity program was transferred to North Fremantle, Cornelie remained a Rescue Home with room for 21 women and its name was changed to Graceville.
In 1974 the property was further developed into the 'Graceville Centre' with additional units for destitute women and their children (Byanda) and lone women (Nunyara). The original home was renamed Cornelie and was used to accommodate women with intellectual disabilities. In March 1986, Cornelie was demolished and new units were built on the site.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Cornelie Home and History, 1898', All the World, April 1898, p. 18; ; Cornelie Home, Lincoln Street [Document], Date: 2003; Hetherington, Penelope, Paupers, Poor Relief and Poor Housing in Western Australia 1829 to 1910, UWA Publishiing, Crawley, Western Australia, 2009. p.132.; 'Western Australia Protectors Reports 1899-1959', in To Remove and Protect: Aboriginal Lives Under Control [website], Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Library of Australia, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/western-australia. Aborigines Department. Report for financial year ending 30th June, 1900, p.4.; Cornelie Court Social Homes Closed (1898 - 2002) file, document titled 'Annual report' [Graceville, Salvation Army], document titled 'Social History'. Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 21 August 2013, Last modified: 12 November 2018