Alvan House
Years of OperationEstablished 1950
Role Of FacilityAccommodation for schoolgirls from an Indigenous background.
Sponsoring AgencyDepartment of Native Welfare
Address(es)Mt Lawley
AliasesKatukutu [see entry]
Brief HistoryIn 1950, the Commissioner of Native Welfare, “pursuing his active goal of assimilation, decided to establish a metropolitan accommodation centre to cater for ‘near white’ student girls. This centre, Alvan House, created considerable controversy at the time of its establishment in 1950. Indignant ratepayers and neighbours in Mount Lawley agitated to have the hostel closed or removed to another neighbourhood.” Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey.
In 1958, responsibility for what became Katukutu passed to the Baptist Union.
Katukutu has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted as it gives more information about what happened after the Alvan House program shifted.
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 Child Protection’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