Baptist Union
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Baptist Union” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
Brief HistoryWilson and Robinson outlined the administration and governance structures of the Baptist Church in hostel management as practiced in 1971:

“The Baptist Aborigines Mission [B.A.M.]…[is] exclusively concerned with Aboriginal welfare….
Although the Baptist Church had been indirectly involved in Perth Hostels [for young Aboriginal people] since 1958 [through the activity of one of its members at Katukutu, see entry], it was not until 1961, and a change in the Department’s [of Native Welfare] policy that they were responsible for departmentally-owned premises….
The Baptist Churches are each autonomous, although they use a central Union to correlate and consolidate welfare/mission activity (the Baptist Union). Although the Baptist Union as such is responsible for the administration of Katukutu and Kyewong [see entries], there are a number of links with related denominations and special purpose multi-denominational groups such as the United Aborigines Mission [see entries for UAM facilities].
‘The B.A.M. is not directly involved with the United Aborigines Mission, but there is a great deal of mutual interest and a lot of them are Baptists.’
Also associated is a loose organisation referred to as the ‘Missionary Fellowship’ consisting of Baptist, U.A.M., Roelands Mission [see entry], Wongutha Training Farm [see entry], the Australian Aborigines Evangelical Mission Board [see entry, AAEM Hostel] and the Kurrawang Aboriginal Christian Centre Inc [see entry]. So that as well as administrative and policy influence from within the Baptist Union, there is also influence from a number of other small Protestant-fundamentalist groups.
The Methodists, Anglicans, Presbyterians and Catholics do not affiliate with the Fellowship because of ‘…irreconcilable theological stances.’ (according to the Baptist Union).
‘The Anglican approach, for example is different in the sense that while they do a fair amount of social work (and, while we do this, too), we feel the real need is a spiritual one.’
Administration of Perth hostels is co-ordinated through a sub-committee of the B.A.M. Council which directs and advises houseparents on policy and administration. Membership of this committee appears to fluctuate considerably and at least one houseparent was extremely vague about its constitution and responsibility.
Financially, the approach is to meet perceived needs only where funds are available to meet them, and emphasis is placed on raising finance through local church sources. For theological reasons, Lotteries Commission assistance is not accepted (although the Department [of Native Welfare] provides, e.g. in the case of the U.A.M., a grant ‘in lieu of Lotteries’ which apparently resolves the theological conflict and provides finance [a similar strategy occurred through the Child Welfare Department])….
[In terms of its selection and placement practices], the Baptist Aborigines Mission…would prefer to place emphasis on residents from its mission at Marribank. Whilst they do not insist upon it, they consider it a priority.” Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey.
RecordsIn relation to non-Indigenous placements, Departmental case records for young people placed in Baptist programs by the Child Welfare Department may reside with the Department for Child Protection. The Department holds information from the Baptist Union presence in Wyndham, for example.
It is unknown whether any other records are still in existence.
While the Department of Native Welfare placed some children in Baptist Union facilities, some placements may have been arranged privately.
The Department for Child Protection should also be contacted for Department of Native Welfare records as they may be able to locate them or refer enquirers to other tracing services.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsDepartmental Records:
Freedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888

Baptist Union Records:
Postal Address: Locked Bag 2, Burswood WA 6100
Telephone: (08) 9470 3081
Email: or