Collie Group Home (Kooloongaruna / Koolingar-Mia)
Years of Operation1977 – 1992; re-opened in 2002 - ongoing
Role Of FacilityFacility owned by the Department and managed by the Collie Welfare Council under contract to the Department. Providing medium to long-term care for up to 6 children of all ages, and emergency accommodation for an additional two children.
Sponsoring AgencyCollie Welfare Council / Departmental - predessor to the current Department for Child Protection
Address(es)2 Rowe Street, Collie.
AliasesKooloongaruna Group Home; Koolingar-Mia Group Home; Kooloongamia
Brief HistoryGroup Homes could be developed relatively inexpensively, so they were able to be located within country towns close to the child’s home of origin, which was seen to be particularly advantageous. “The involvement and access to parents by these placements is often a major step in the rehabilitation of a family group.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1979). For notes on a general history of these facilities, see the section on Group Homes at the beginning of Signposts.

An unreferenced Departmental file relating to Reserve No. 34790, which was provided by the Department for Community Development for Signposts research project indicates that the purchase of Lot 2075 Rowe Street, Collie had the following history:
“Following approaches from Collie Welfare Council for a home for children in 1976, a freehold property was purchased on 26.4.1977 and converted to Reserve status on 12.8.1977. Managed under contract.”
Mission Grant in Aid 1977 $43,000 for the group home; in 1982 for fencing and tiling.
“A Departmental group home supported by the Collie Welfare Council has now been purchased which will cater for child placement needs of Aboriginal children previously managed in an ad hoc manner. It is the first such facility to have Aboriginal group foster parents and the active involvement of a local community group which recognises the need to disperse responsibility for Community Welfare matters more evenly between Government agencies and citizens” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1977).

“Koolingar-Mia, the Collie Aboriginal Group Home, has functioned now for 12 months…This Group Home has provided excellent child care and the Government / Private Sector management model has effectively revived community interest in welfare provisions.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1979).

The WELSTAT (welfare statistics) Collection of 1979 notes the Collie Group Home 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.

“Koolingar-Mia, the Group Home, has been at capacity for the past two years and the Department is currently exploring provision of a further small residential facility, to cater for existing needs which are currently being met by placement of children at Roelands Village and outside of the district.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1980).

“The Group Home, Kooloongar-Mia, has operated successfully during the year. It has been at normal capacity all the time, but with room for emergency placements when necessary.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1981).

“Kooloongar-Mia Group Home has operated successfully during the year. Its capacity to offer child care has been maintained at a level similar to last year. Collie Welfare Council which sponsors the Group Home activities has been instrumental in raising funds to provide a swimming pool. This will provide a valuable recreation activity for the children in care.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1982).

Once again, Kooloongar-Mia operated to capacity in the 1983 year and extra “provision of recreation facilities” were “made available through the Collie Welfare council, which jointly manages this facility.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1983).

“The Group Home continues to offer a valuable service for children who are unable to live at home with their parents. There are presently six children in the home, ranging from 9 to 13 years of age. The Group Home has continued to benefit from a great deal of community interest and involvement through the Collie Welfare Council.” (Annual Report of the Department for Community Welfare, June 30th 1984).

Facility was a riding school for people with disabilities, but re-opened as a Departmental facility in 2002, being reburbished at the time of reporting in 2004 (Internal Memo Manager Hostels Group to A/Manager Information Support Services, Department for Community Development, July 19th 2004).
RecordsCase records for young people placed by the Department may reside with the Department for Child Protection.
AccessWhile access to records is restricted to protect the privacy of individuals, people are encouraged to enquire.
Contact DetailsFreedom of Information
Department for Child Protection
PO Box 6334, East Perth WA 6892
Telephone: (08) 9222 2555
Facsimile: (08) 9222 2776
Country free call: 1800 000 277