The Graceville Centre was the new name given in 1974 to what had been known since 1903 as Graceville. A Salvation Army Rescue Home, Graceville had replaced Cornelie Home at Highgate. By1974 the Graceville Centre in Highgate was a complex of buildings accommodating: mothers and children temporarily; women aged 16-25 for alcohol rehabilitation; and, young and older women attending special schools and sheltered workshops. In 2013 the temporary accommodation services continued in an undisclosed location.
The Graceville Centre began its long history in 1898 as Cornelie Home; a Rescue Home for women and a maternity home for 'unmarried mothers'. After the maternity program was transferred to North Fremantle in 1903, Cornelie remained a Rescue Home with room for 21 women and its name changed to Graceville. On 22 March 1922, Graceville was registered as an 'Inebriates Home' but it seems that at some stage, young and older women with intellectual disabilities were also accommodated at Graceville. By 1972, Graceville reportedly was involved with the Slow Learning Children's Group workshops and 'special schools' and the Irrabeena assessment program.
In 1974 the property was further developed into the 'Graceville Centre' with additional units for women and their children needing temporary, emergency accommodation (Byanda) and lone women aged 16-25 years with a 'drink problem' (Nunyara). Byanda had previously (1920-1942) been the name of the younger children's building at the Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe. Byanda and Nunyara were built on the site previously occupied by the Graceville managers' and officers' quarters.
The original home was renamed Cornelie and was used to accommodate young and older women with intellectual disabilities who attended special schools and sheltered workshops. Many of these residents had links with Irrabeena. By 1984, this building was called 'Cornelie Hostel'. In March 1986, Cornelie was demolished and the female residents were transferred to a Baptistcare facility in Bassendean. Eleven new units were built on the site, opening on 13 December 1986 and named 'Cornelie Court'.
The Byanda and Nunyara buildings were decommissioned and new premises redeveloped in 2007. In 2013, the Graceville Centre continued to provide supported accommodation to women experiencing domestic violence or homelessness.
1894 - 1898 Salvation Army Home for Neglected Girls, Perth
1898 - 1903 Cornelie Home
1903 - Graceville Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: ; 'Eighty years of social service in West. Aust. remembered at the Graceville Centre', The War Cry, 1 June 1974; 'New Graceville Centre', The War Cry, 29 June 1974; 'Aiding the abused', The War Cry, 2006; Graceville Women's Industrial Home [Image], Date: 1920?; 'Serving the community in Western Australia', 1966?-1969? (fundraising pamphlet held by the Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA) Cottesloe Girls Closed Social Work (1898-1998) file, document titled 'Salvation Warfare in the Wide Open West'. Cornelie Court Social Homes Closed (1898 - 2002) file, documents titled 'Annual report' [Graceville, Salvation Army]; Graceville Women's Centre, document titled 'Social History'. Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA. Graceville Photos (1950s-2007) file, document titled 'Memories by L. Goode 1974-1994'.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 16 December 2013, Last modified: 12 November 2018