Ardross House
Years of Operation1970 - remains open in 2010
Role Of FacilityResidential child care for school children in a hostel setting.
Sponsoring AgencyOriginally, Ardross House was managed by the Methodist Overseas Mission on behalf of the Department of Native Welfare.
Subsequently, Departmental / Uniting Church Family and Children's Services / Mogumber / Sister Kate's
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"
AliasesMogumber Hostel
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 [see entry] was the first of these, followed by Adross Hostel. Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey

“Because of political pressures, more or less successfully applied, [...] is to accommodate only 6 residents. It is close to the Applecross High School, and one resident in fact attends this school. The others all attend business college in the city, some considerable distance away. It was originally purchased in May 1970, and the residents moved in early in 1971.Whereas it is situated in a pleasant suburb, and has its own swimming pool, it has only one very small bathroom for 8 people, the house mothers have a very small bedroom each, and no office or separate living room facilities.” Wilson and Robinson (1971) Aboriginal Hostels in Perth: A Comparative Survey

In 1975, Ardross House provided short term care for 7 or 8 girls aged 12-17 years in a hostel-like setting. Ardross House had a garden with a swimming pool. There were 6 bedrooms – all of which could sleep three or more girls; 2 lounge rooms; dining room; 1 bathroom and 2 toilets; a table tennis or pool table; TV, piano; radio or radiogram, library, books and magazines were available. Girls 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).

Ardross House 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 “Ardross” 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.

It appears from Departmental records that Ardross Hostel was not being funded through the Consultative Committee on Residential Child Care in 1982.

Administered by the Child and Family Services branch of the Uniting Church, then by Sister Kate’s in 1985 until 31 December 1987 when it was handed over to the Department. Originally administered by Mogumber as a metropolitan base for children from Mogumber [see entry].

At 1 October 1994, there were 3 boys aged 15-18+ years resident at Ardross House; total admissions during that year had numbered 8; and the length of stay ranged from 3 months to more than 6 months. (OHAC Cost Project, Department for Community Services, June 1995).

The facility now forms part of the Aboriginal Student Accommodation Service program run by the Department.

The Methodist Church has its own entry in Signposts, and this should be consulted as it gives more information about the approach taken. Manguri also has its own entry and gives information about campus life there.
RecordsIt is unknown whether any records originally held by the Methodist Overseas Mission are still in existence.
If a resident was a Commonwealth Secondary Grant holders, the Commonwealth may hold records. The National Archives of Australia may be the best source for tracking these records.
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
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