Benmore Presbyterian Children’s Home, Caversham
Years of Operation1947 – 1963 (or possibly at the end of the 1962 school year).
Role Of FacilityResidential care for, initially, boys aged from approximately 10 years, but also girls from 1957. Accommodated private admissions as well as wards of the state on a working farm property.
Sponsoring AgencyThe Presbyterian Children’s Homes Council [see entry, Presbyterian Church]
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entry “Uniting Church” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
Address(es)Middle Swan Road, Caversham
Brief History“The Presbyterian Children’s Council maintains two Homes for children – ‘Burnbrae’ at Byford [see entry], caring for girls and younger boys, and ‘Benmore’ at Caversham, for older boys. ‘Benmore’ is a farming property and, like ‘Burnbrae’ is in a rural setting, well away from the city.” (Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, June 30th 1952).

Hon General Superintendent of the Council of the Presbyterian Children’s Homes was Dr HR Pearson. Accommodation for 35 boys from 10 years approximately. Benmore “is a farming property, well away from Perth, and renovations, domestic drainage, pasture improvements and cropping have received attention this review period. The lads maintain excellent general health. Primary education is available at Middle Swan State School and secondary education at the Midland Junction High School.” (Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, June 30th 1953).

“This is a small farming property…It is pleasing to report that future extensions are proposed. A new section is to be added to the present block, comprising dining and recreation hall (to be known as ‘Withnell Memorial Hall’), new kitchen, ablution block, laundry, etc.” (Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, June 30th 1954).

A chronology of admissions and discharges is included in Table 3.

In addition to the entries mentioned above, the Presbyterian Church has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted as it gives more information about the approach taken.
RecordsThe Presbyterian Children’s Council no longer existed following the amalgamation into the Uniting Church group. For assistance with records for agencies and services pre-dating the amalgamation of the Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist Churches, refer to contact details below.
Departmental case records for young people placed in Presbyterian programs by the Child Welfare Department may reside with the Department for Child Protection.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsSynod of Western Australia
UCA Archives Research Centre
1st Floor 10 Pier Street, Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9221 6911
Facsimile: (08) 9221 6863

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