Withnell House Girls' Home was established by the Salvation Army in the premises of the former boys hostel in Withnell House, Mount Lawley in 1969, when the staff and girls from the Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe moved there. The Home was licensed to house children with the name Withnell House Girls Home, but the residents probably called it 'Cottesloe House'. This became the name for a cottage home for boys and girls that operated in the same premises from about 1973.
The Mount Lawley site of Withnell House Girls' Home had been used by the Salvation Army since the late 1940s for a variety of residential programs for children and adolescents. The official and unofficial names of the various children's Homes situated at Mount Lawley can cause some confusion, especially because, from 1969, the name "Cottesloe House" was sometimes used for these Homes.
The Annual Reports of the Child Welfare Department from 1969 to 1972 record that 'Withnell House Girls Home' operated in Mount Lawley. The departmental publication, Signposts (2008) also notes that in 1969, 'Withnell House Girls' Home had a license to care for 8 children aged less than six years' (p. 577).
But a compendium produced by the Salvation Army Social Services in 2003, Soap-Soup-Salvation, states that in 1969 the new residents at the former boys' hostel in Mount Lawley 'retained the "Cottesloe" banner' (meaning they called their new Home 'Cottesloe House').
Documents held at the Salvation Army Heritage Museum Western Australia also suggest that the name 'Cottesloe House' was first used in 1969 when the Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe moved to Withnell House in Mount Lawley.
The parliamentary Hansard for 6 November 1973 confirms that the 'Cottesloe House Children's Home' was situated in Mount Lawley.
This informal name for the Home at Mount Lawley was officially adopted from around 1973, with the establishment of a cottage home called Cottesloe House on the site.
1918 - 1969 Salvation Army Girls' Home, Cottesloe
1969 - 1973? Withnell House Girls' Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.577-579', 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; Kirkham, Lt-Col John C, Southern Soup-Soap-Salvation, a compendium of Salvation Army Social Services in the Australian Southern Territory, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Territorial Archives and Museum, 2003. pp. 55 and 145.; Western Australia. Child Welfare Department, Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, Child Welfare Department, Perth [W.A.], 1928-1972. Annual Reports 1969, p. 20; 1970 p.24, 1971; p.28; 1972 p. 32..
Prepared by: Rebe Taylor and Debra Rosser
Created: 1 April 2014, Last modified: 20 November 2015