Manguri (Sister Kate’s)
Years of Operation1935 - 2002
Role Of FacilityResidential child care and family support for Indigenous children and families.
Sponsoring AgencyManguri had a strong association with the Uniting Church whose Property Trust owned the land on which Manguri operated its cottages in Queens Park.
Manguri Corporation was incorporated in its own right in 1995.
Other facilities in
Signposts that are
related to the
Sponsoring Agency
See the entries “Manguri” and “Uniting Church” in the earlier section of Signposts, “Non-Government Agencies and their Subsidiary Institutions”
Address(es)190 Treasure Road, Queens Park
AliasesSister Kate’s Home / Children’s Cottage Home / Sister Kate’s Child and Family Service / Manguri Cottages
Brief HistoryEstablished by Sister Kate Clutterbuck (late of Parkerville Children’s Home) in 1935 to care for “coloured children”. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website shows Sister Kate’s Children’s Home’s governing agency as the Anglican Church. For information about Anglican Church governance see entry for Anglican Church in this document. It is probably also worthwhile reviewing information about Sister Kate (an Anglican nun) recounted in the entry for Parkerville Children’s Home. The Presbyterian Board of Social Services / Methodist Homes for Children (see entry Methodist Church/Mofflyn) were also associated with Manguri during its history.

In 2000, Ashley McDonald from Murdoch University provided an article that gives some insight into the establishment of Sister Kate’s. A full reference to this article is provided at the end of these excerpts:
“The Children’s Cottage Home (which later became Sister Kate’s Home), was one of the Homes and Missions who were responsible for raising many members of the now oft termed Stolen Generations.”

“The institution which became known as Sister Kate’s has had a confusing existence. Sister Kate, an Anglican nun, after leaving another home called the Parkerville Children’s Home [see entry], formed the institution called the Children’s Cottage Home in 1933. Sister Kate operated this home until her death in 1946. From 1946 to 1956 the Home was operated under the authority of an administrative board. In 1948, the Home was renamed Sister Kate’s Children's Home in memory of Sister Kate and in 1956 the administrators arranged for the Presbyterian Church to take control of the home.

Sister Kate’s Children’s Home still functions today, but has undergone another administrative change and since 1988 Manguri’s operation has become the responsibility of a board of Aboriginal people.”…

Sister Kate belonged to a sisterhood called ‘The Community of the Sisters of the Church’ (CSC), or the ‘Kilburn Sisterhood’. This order of Anglican nuns were formed in 1870 and were specifically devoted to the education and care of children. The CSC aimed to properly raise children in all facets like a natural parent….

The Sisterhood soon sent some members to Western Australia to take up work there. After some initial reluctance from Bishop Parry, Sister Kate eventually established a children’s home. The CSC purchased property in the Darling Ranges which became the venue for the Parkerville Children’s Home. The aim of Parkerville was to care for a child’s physical well being and to raise them into proper citizens. The paramount concern of the CSC was that each child should be brought up in a loving and familial environment. The CSC endeavoured to give their children everything which other children received, such as a proper education and loving family.

A very important method, introduced by Sister Kate, to achieve this familial atmosphere was the Cottage Home system. Each cottage was meant to function as a little family in its own right and was staffed with a cottage mother and father. An unusual feature for the time was the fact that a variety of children lived in each cottage. This, presumably, was part of the CSC’s aim to imitate family life and have children of varying ages and sexes so as to mimic siblings...

When Sister Kate reached the age of 70 Archbishop Le Fanu resolved that she should retire however she was not willing to leave her position at Parkerville. It has been argued that Sister Kate’s reluctance was due to her desire that Parkerville should remain under the CSC’s control and not come under the Archbishop’s jurisdiction.

Sister Kate’s refusal to accede to these requests should be regarded as an act of insubordination to a person in high authority. She once commented that she acknowledged only two authorities in this world, they being God and the children she cared for. Archbishop Le Fanu therefore was not part of her realm of authority.

As history shows us however, Sister Kate was forcibly retired from Parkerville in 1933. Yet believing she had more to offer the children of Western Australia, Sister Kate set about finding a new vocation. Sister Kate wrote to Paul Hasluck and he suggested that she become involved with Aboriginal children. The assimilation policy required a place to put half caste children so that they could be properly raised. Given Sister Kate’s relative expertise in raising children and her undoubted talent and resources to get the job done, she seemed to be a perfect choice. Neville [Protector of Aborigines] saw Sister Kate and the home she would operate as being a tool for assimilation. However this policy had little importance to Sister Kate. She would not be controlled and always did what she believed was best for her children irrespective of the consequences. Naturally this made the relationship between Neville and Sister Kate quite acrimonious at times…

“There are numerous instances where Sister Kate openly clashed with Neville about financing, admission and the general operations of the Home. Sister Kate seemingly always adopted the view that this was a Home which she created and operated so no one was going to dictate to her how they should be educated and to whom the benefit of her home should be afforded.”

What follows is the footnote #83 to the above:
“There is some truth to this but it should be noted that the only regular income for the Home came from the Aborigines Department. The Department paid a subsidy of seven pounds yearly for each child dependent on the Department, and passed on maintenance payments provided by any relatives. However any expansion in the cottage system was due mainly to her own private initiatives. Work started at Buckland Hill on August 26, 1933. This cottage became known as Myola and was erected in May 1934. The funds necessary for this construction mainly came from private support and public fundraising. The second cottage [Friends’] was built in June 1935 courtesy of the Lotteries Commission. The third cottage was built in July 1936 due to the donations of a Corrigin farmer J.L. Crossland.”

“The Presbyterian Church took control of Sister Kate’s in 1956 although negotiations to arrange the transfer had been taking place since as early as 1951....”
McDonald, Ashley. (2000) “Are we Family? And if so can I Still Sue You?” Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law Vol.7 No.1.

In its service agreement with the Department in 1999 Manguri was funded to provide 12 placements for Aboriginal children aged up to 17 years. The placements were provided at the Manguri campus in Queens Park and/or other locations in the Perth metropolitan area.

Manguri also provided a transitional family accommodation service funded under the Commonwealth/State Supported Accommodation Assistance Program [for more information on this program see the section on NAHA/SAAP at the beginning of Signposts].

In 2002 after experiencing considerable financial difficulties and problems with management of the services, Manguri’s funding was ceased and the cottages closed. Children who were in residence in Manguri’s cottages were found alternative placements by the Department prior to the closure.

The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes “Sister Kate’s Cottage 1-6” as a ‘clustered group home’ (ie. “a family group home whose grounds 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.

By 1980, Mogumber [see entry] had amalgamated with Sister Kate’s.

By 1985, Sister Kate’s was re-examining its role and determining whether, how and in what way it should be broadened to meet current and future needs of Indigenous people.

In 1986, Sister Kate’s was described as having two “separate service bases – a hostel service for Aboriginal children attending high school in Perth from country areas; and a welfare-based residential cottage programme for Aboriginal child and youth requiring substitute care. Despite the ongoing debate over the merits of transferring Aboriginal students to Perth, requests for placements in the agency’s 3 hostels were maintained in 1985. A vigorous programme to support the adjustment and performance of this group was facilitated by the full time service of the Educational/Welfare Officer. The welfare role of the residential programme continues to be focused on the Queen’s Park campus. Four cottages operate on this site with one scatter cottage in Maddington. Two off-campus facilities closed during the year – one hostel, being reclaimed by the Aboriginal Hostels Inc. and a scatter cottage in Yokine, due to lack of demand.” (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee in 1985/86, Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care October 1986).

It has not been possible to ascertain which hostel closed during 1986, but the relevant hostel was possibly Rangevue, which had been a Native Welfare Department education hostel prior to 1972.
“Sr Kate’s organises annual recreational camps for those residents who are unable to return to family or relatives over the holiday period. Numerous requests have been received from external agencies for the inclusion of children whose families need support and respite during the long vacation. In this fashion the camps are developing as an alternative programme.” (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee in 1985/86, Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care October 1986).

In 1987 the CCRCC mapped the developments in residential services at the type of programs that were provided for children in the care ofthe agency:
1. Major Developments in the Residential Models of Care
- Professional staff development
- Respite care
- Information sessions for staff
2. Range of Programs Provided
- Camping program
- Tutoring program
- Peer group leader program
(Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee in 1986/87, Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care November 1987).

A new Director was appointed in July 1987 [or August 31, 1987 –reports are conflicting on the appointment date] and an Aboriginal Consultative Committee was formally established to give advice to the agency. Sister Kate’s withdrew from the Education Hostels program in 1987. This meant that the management of Ardross House, the Greenmount Hostel (also known as Innaminka) and the Mt Lawley Hostel (possibly also known as Cooinda) [see entries for each facility] was no longer in the hands of Sister Kate’s Child and Family Service.

The name of the agency changed to Manguri in August, 1988. In that year an Aboriginalisation Statement was issued which outlined the “Aboriginal perspective” of the agency. The agency’s residential program continued to “be focused on the Queen’s Park campus [but they also ran Maddington Scatter Cottage, see entry]. Manguri organizes annual recreation camps for those residents who are unable to return. Numerous requests for the inclusion of children whose families require support and respite during the long vacation were received.” (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1987/88, November 1988).
Myola Cottage reopened in November 1988.

In 1989, the agency reported its intention to “align child care practices with more traditional approaches to care”, to “develop a service to families that is viewed by the Noongar community as culturally and socially appropriate”, and to form a Council of Elders to “assist Manguri to establish laws which will be able to be interpreted into culturally and socially sensitive methods of delivery of service to their people.” (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1988/89, February 1990).
Following on from reports in 1989, Manguri reported in 1990 that “the process of law and cultural retrieval” would “include creating a register of Noongar relationships, clan groups and other family links within which Noongar families can be located with a view to child placement.” Family support and aftercare programs continued, as did the camping program. An Art Gallery was opened at Manguri in this year, and the agency became involved in the Noongar Alcohol and Substance Abuse Service. (Report on the Activities of the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1989/90, February 1991).

Markfield Cottage reopened on April 30, 1990.
1994 Out of Home Care funded services included:
• Cottage care - up to 10 children in two metropolitan cottages
• Community care – up to 14 children in community care in at least 8 metropolitan households.
Other services included Family Placements.
(Out of Home, Preventative and Alternative Care Services Review, “Terms of Reference”, Family and Children’s Services, 1995).

A more detailed chronology of major events, admissions and discharges is included Table 24.
RecordsRecords should be accessed via the Department for Child Protection, who can assist in locating a range of relevant files.
The Department for Child Protection's Aboriginal Index and the guide, “Looking West”, should also be consulted for information.
Additionally, according to the The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies website , the State Records Office in Western Australia “holds extensive records relating to missions.” Contact details are below.
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

Synod of Western Australia
UCA Archives Research Centre
1st Floor 10 Pier Street, Perth WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 9221 6911
Facsimile: (08) 9221 6863

For general information relating to missions:
State Records Office, Alexander Library Building
James St West Entrance
Perth WA 6000.
Search Centre: GroundFloor Mon-Fri:9.30am-4.30pm
Telephone: (08) 9427 3360
Facsimile: (08) 9427 3368