Applecross Cottage
Years of OperationFrom 1970
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for school children in a hostel setting. In 1971, the residents were primary school age children from Mogumber.
Sponsoring AgencyOriginally, Applecross Cottage was operated by the Methodist Overseas Mission on behalf of the Department of Native Welfare, then the Community Welfare Department.
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”
Address(es)62 Matheson Road, Applecross
AliasesMatheson Road Hostel
Applecross Cottage
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 Methodist Overseas Mission has been operating a mission at Mogumber [see entry] for over twenty years. A high proportion of Mogumber’s residents are Wards of the State, and have been nurtured in the Mission’s isolated environment for most of their lives. A recent change in its policy at Mogumber has directed attention towards the gradual replacement of the mission by a number of small ‘scatter-homes’ in other areas.” Applecross Cottage was the first of these, followed by Adross Hostel [see entry]. Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey
“The house at Matheson Road used as the first scatter-home [established by the Methodist Overseas Mission] had previously been a home for Aged Ladies. Although the properties at Cooinda and Warminda [see entries] encountered little local reaction (there were some minor complaints by Mount Lawley residents for example), there was considerable Press controversy over the establishment of Applecross Cottage. One of the major factors contributing to the controversy was the presence of a number of other institutions (Departmental and otherwise) in the vicinity, and this problem was magnified further in the Department’s hostel in the adjoining neighbourhood of Ardross [see entry]. Despite local resistance, the home was opened in 1970 with several Mogumber children attending Applecross Primary and Secondary schools.” Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey.
In 1975, Applecross provided short term care for up to 8 children aged 5-17 years in a hostel-like setting. Applecross had a garden with a trampoline. There were 6 bedrooms – all doubles; 2 lounge rooms; dining room; 3 bathrooms and 3 toilets; TV, piano; radio or radiogram, library and magazines were available. Children took their lunch to school, to which they walked. The average length of stay was around 9 months. Recreational activities included sporting clubs, socials and camping trips. The building was described as being of brick construction and integrated into the community. (Department of Child Welfare Submission to the Committee of Enquiry into Residential Child Care, July 1976).
Applecross was privately owned, but operated under a formal agreement with the Department for Community Welfare, providing for school children. The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes “Applecross” 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.”) that was operated by an agency other than the Department.
In 1985/86, the responsibility for Applecross was passed to the Aboriginal Lands Council.
The Methodist Church has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted as it gives more information about the approach taken.
RecordsIt is unknown whether any records originally held by the Methodist Overseas Mission are still in existence, but contact details are provided below.
Departmental 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
Freedom of Information
Department of Communities
Locked Bag 5000, Fremantle WA 6959
Telephone: (08) 6217 6888
Country free call: 1800 176 888

The Assembly Archivist, Uniting Church in Australia
PO Box A2266, Sydney South NSW 1235
Telephone: (02) 8267 4267
Facsimile: (02) 8267 4222

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