Burnbrae Presbyterian Children’s Home, Byford
Years of OperationFrom at least 1939, possibly earlier, to 1957 or 58.
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for private admissions as well as Wards of the state.
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”
Brief History“The Presbyterian Children’s Council maintains two Homes for children – ‘Burnbrae’ at Byford, caring for girls and younger boys, and ‘Benmore’ at Caversham, for older boys.” Both were “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 is Dr HR Pearson. Matron of Burnbrae is Mrs FJ Boon. Accommodation for around 52 children; with boys up to around 10 years and girls. “General health report is excellent and the children receive regular medical and dental attention. Schooling is available at either the State School at Byford, the Armadale High School or the Perth Girls’ High School. During the year, a new lighting plant was installed and the domestic water, septic and drainage systems overhauled.” (Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, June 30th 1953).

“This institution is approved to admit migrant children also, but so far no migrants have become available. Children attend the primary school at Byford, quite close to the Home, and older pupils travel daily to the High School at Armadale.” (Annual Report of the Child Welfare Department, June 30th 1954).

A chronology of admissions and discharges is included in Table 5.

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 for UnitingCare West, 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 DetailsUnitingCare West
Central Office
16 Sunbury Road

Postal Address:
GPO Box B74

Telephone: 1300 663 298 (08) 9355 9116
Facsimile: 1300 663 528


Synod of Western Australia
UCA Archives Research Centre
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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