- Cooinda House has been included in the State Register of Heritage Places
- Residence was former accommodation for Aboriginal girls working in Perth and later Aboriginal students
- Listing recognises changing attitudes towards Aboriginal people from mid-20th century
Cooinda House in Mount Lawley has been included in the State Register of Heritage Places.
The California Bungalow style residence was originally constructed during the Inter-War period in 1933-1934. In 1966, it was used as the first employment hostel in the Perth metropolitan area specifically to accommodate Aboriginal girls that were working in the city or seeking employment.
The Queens Crescent house demonstrates the State's changing attitudes and priorities in relation to the needs of Aboriginal people.
Although managed by the Methodist Church, the former Department of Native Welfare remained responsible for the placement of residents at Cooinda, with the priority to find employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people moving to the city.
Use of the facility has evolved over successive decades, gradually moving away from workforce accommodation for young Aboriginal women to an accommodation facility for Aboriginal students at the senior secondary level, particularly boys from the Kimberley receiving scholarships to attend Perth schools.
The property is now owned by the Western Australian Government and will soon be transferred to the Noongar community, as an outcome of the South West Native Title Settlement.
Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman:
"The addition of Cooinda House in the State Heritage Register reflects a key period in the State's history as we continue to re-examine the treatment of Aboriginal people in Western Australia at this time.
"Cooinda House provided young Aboriginal women with opportunities to find full-time employment which was a critical milestone in improving the opportunities for Aboriginal people.
"From an educational perspective, from the late 1980's Cooinda House played an important role in assisting Aboriginal students to reach their full potential.
"The Heritage Council continues to recognise buildings and places which contribute to the history of our State."
Comments to be attributed to Mount Lawley MLA Simon Millman:
"Mount Lawley has always been renowned for its beautiful architectural heritage. Today's announcement demonstrates the strength of cultural heritage in our community too.
"Cooinda House is an important historical home in Mount Lawley that has had an interesting and significant history.
"I am delighted to hear that it will be preserved for future generations to appreciate its unique story."
Minister's office - 6552 5400