Medina Education and Employment Hostel
Years of OperationProbably prior to 1972, but managed by the Native Welfare Department. It is likely that Medina came under Departmental control in the 1972/73 year.
Although Medina closed during the mid-1980’s it was open again by 1987 as a Group Home and remains open in 2010 as the Gilmore House Group Home [see entry].
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for school children in a hostel setting.
Sponsoring AgencyDepartmental - predessor to the current Department for Child Protection.
Address(es)150 Gilmore Road, Medina. It is possible that at some stage the programs were delivered from premises in Ridley Way, Medina, as mentioned in the 1989 Annual Report.
Brief HistoryEducation and employment hostels were operated by or in association with the Native Welfare Department mostly from the mid to late 1960s and early 1970s but came under the administration of the Community Welfare Department from 1972. For notes on a general history of these facilities, see the section on Hostels at the beginning of Signposts.

The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes the Medina Hostel as a ‘scattered group home’ (ie. “a family group home whose grounds do not adjoin those of another family group home, or other residential child care establishment, operated by the same enterprise.”) operated by the Department.

On May 11th, 1983 the Walcott system was modified to include five hostels: Stuart House, Tudor Lodge both in Mt Lawley, Kyewong Hostel (Como), Warralea Hostel (Yokine), Medina Hostel and Andrew House and Cawley House (on the Walcott campus in Lord/Walcott Streets). “While each hostel operates the same behaviour management and social skills programme, they function as independent of each other as possible. The staff model operating in each hostel with the exception of Medina is one Senior Groupworker and four Groupworkers providing one person each shift. Medina has a live-in Manageress and two Groupworkers.” “The Walcott School has continued its existence for those children not able to be placed in the normal Education Department stream at the time of admission. Its role therefore continues to be one of re-establishing more appropriate classroom behaviours. If children can either continue at their existing school or if appropriate, attend a local school to their particular hostel, they would do so.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).

Continuing the developments even further, Medina became one of a new breed of services in the 1980s. In May 1983, Medina became “attached to” the Walcott Centre. In September 1983, Bridgewater amalgamated with the Walcott System to form a new system of residential care and community support. In January 1984, the new system was named the Community Support Hostels, and Bridgewater became its Administration Centre. The Community Support Hostels comprised Darlington Cottage, Oceanview, Stuart House, Tudor Lodge, Warralea Hostel, Kyewong Hostel, Medina Hostel, Warminda and the Bedford Park Hostel [see individual entries]. The role of the Community Support Hostels was to “provide skilled care for children for whom a more normal setting, such as an emergency foster home, is not available.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, 1984).

By 1985, the Annual Report indicated there were seven Community Support Hostels in the Perth metropolitan area, and their individual roles and goals were “varied, complex and often quite different in nature.” However, the “basic aim” of the Community Support Hostel system was to “identify and understand problems being experienced [by the children admitted to them], then to provide support and direction towards re-establishing routine involvement in community activities.” At the same time, the hostel staff emphasised “behavioural stabilisation and training to increase the chances of success in activities involvement and subsequent placements.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, 1985).

In 1987, due to an increased demand for its services, the Medina Hostel was reported as being “re-opened”. (Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, 1987). It is likely that the Medina Hostel had closed somewhere around 1985.

In 1989, it was reported that the “Review of the Ridley Way programme at Medina was completed in June, and the implementation of recommendations will result in improvements to the programme and the working conditions for the staff.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Services, June 30th 1989).

The Medina Hostel became a group home known as Gilmore House [see entry] and/or the Medina Group Home.
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