Bamburra Hostel
Years of OperationUnder the management of the Churches of Christ Federal Aborigines Mission Board from 1970 to 1984, when the operation was transferred to the Department.
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for school children in a hostel setting.
Sponsoring AgencyDepartmental - predessors to the current Department for Child Protection. The Australian Churches of Christ Indigenous Ministries (ACCIM) [see entry], which was formerly called the Churches of Christ Federal Aborigines Mission Board Inc (CCFAMBI).
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Australian Churches of Christ Indigenous Ministries” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
AliasesMt Yokine Education and Employment Hostel for Girls
Brief HistoryEducation and employment hostels were operated by or in association with the Native Welfare Department mostly from the mid to late 1960s and early 1970s but came under the administration of the Community Welfare Department from 1972. For notes on a general history of these facilities, see the section on Hostels at the beginning of Signposts.

Bamburra was operated in the 1970s by the Churches of Christ under a formal agreement with the Department of Community Welfare, providing for girls carrying out secondary schooling and tertiary studies.

Officials from the Churches of Christ Federal Aborigines Board indicated that Bamburra accommodated female students from all parts of Western Australia, most of whom were in receipt of Commonwealth Secondary Grants. Regular contact was kept with their families and they returned home for school holidays.

In 1975, Bamburra provided short term care for secondary school girls in a hostel-like setting. Bamburra had a garden with a swimming pool. There were 7 bedrooms – 5 doubles and 2 which could sleep three or more girls; a lounge room; dining room; 4 bathrooms and 4 toilets; TV, piano; radio or radiogram, and magazines were available. Girls took their lunch to school, to which they walked or caught a bus. The average length of stay was around 9 months. Recreational activities included camping trips. The building was described as being of brick construction and integrated into the community. (Department of Child Welfare Submission to the Committee of Enquiry into Residential Child Care, July 1976).

The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes Bamburra Hostel as a ‘scattered group home’ (ie. “a family group home whose grounds do not adjoin those of another family group home, or other residential child care establishment, operated by the same enterprise.”) that was operated by an agency other than the Department.

It appears from Departmental records that Bamburra [Hostel] was not being funded through the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1982.

The Churches of Christ ceased managing Bamburra Hostel from 1984 and the Department assumed responsibility.

At 1 October 1994, there were 7 boys aged 15-18+ years resident at Bamburra House; total admissions during that year had numbered 12; and the length of stay ranged from 1 week to more than 6 months. (OHAC Cost Project, Department for Community Services, June 1995).

The facility now (2010) forms part of the Aboriginal Student Accommodation Service program run by the Department.

The Australian Churches of Christ Indigenous Ministries has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted.
RecordsAs Commonwealth Secondary Grant holders, there may be Commonwealth records for each resident. The National Archives of Australia may be the best source for tracking these records.
Departmental records for children placed by the Department of Community Welfare or the Department of Native Welfare may exist. Of particular interest, if able to be located, are the Department of Native Welfare “Resident Details Information Sheet (1) Hostel and Private Board Placement ” and “Resident Details Information Sheet (2) Hostel and Private Board Placement”.

Additionally, the Department's Aboriginal Index and the guide, “Looking West”, should be consulted for information.

Thousands of photos taken at the Churches of Christ Mission centres have been preserved, and identified where possible. In time, these will be available from ACCIM.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFor Photographs:
Australian Churches of Christ Indigenous Ministries
Box 1199, Wangara WA 6947.
Telephone: (08) 9309 3922

For personal information:
Freedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888

National Archives of Australia
384 Berwick Street
East Victoria Park WA 6101
Telephone: (08) 9470 7500
Facsimile: (08) 9470 2787
PO Box 1144 East Victoria Park WA 6981
Opening hours: 9am-4:30pm weekdays