Bennett House
Years of Operation1931 - remains open in 2004 as Jack Davis House but is no longer a Departmental facility (leased to Aboriginal Hostels Ltd in 1981 and was in the process of being transferred to the Aboriginal Lands Trust in 1986). A private facility in 2004.
Role Of FacilityA transit hostel for Indigenous children and adults from rural and regional areas.
Sponsoring AgencyDepartmental - predessor to the current Department for Child Protection
Address(es)191 Bennett Street, East Perth (this same address once housed Yorganop, the Aboriginal Child Care Agency [see entry].)
AliasesEast Perth Girls’ Home / Jack Davis House
Brief HistoryThe Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website shows Bennett House dating from 1931, with its earlier name being ‘East Perth Girl’s Home’. It was noted as a Government facility.
Facility operated by the Department as a Transit Hostel.
Bennett House “is a special-purpose hostel in Perth which caters for country-based Aboriginal adults and children coming to the city for medical and similar reasons. It is thus for short-stay transients, one requirement being that residents are well enough for hostel-type care.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1977).
The facility was leased to Aboriginal Hostels Ltd who ran it with “their own trained personnel” for the same clientele.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1980).
In 1981, full responsibility for Bennett House was transferred to Aboriginal Hostels Ltd. (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1981).
By 1983, Bennett House provided dormitory-style, crisis accommodation for homeless Indigenous males of any age. 1983 contact: Guy Gidgup.
Bennett House later provided emergency accommodation for (mostly) girls from rural areas.
RecordsDepartmental 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 for Community Development’s Aboriginal Index and the guide, “Looking West”, should be consulted for information.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888