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About Minnawarra House

Our Philosophy

Minnawarra House promotes a community spirit
in which children, families and individuals
are encouraged to reach for their potential.
We embrace all people in a spirit of fairness and acceptance.

Our Values

Support individuals, families and communities to fulfil their own potential, to self-sufficiency and to manage their own issues in the future.

Embrace all people, from diverse cultures, special needs and backgrounds with mutual respect and social justice.

Provide a welcoming, comfortable, relaxed and safe environment for the communities.

Professional Service
Provide excellent and professional services and programs that fit the needs of the communities.

Involve and communicate with and listen to the view of individuals, families and communities to inform our work.

Work collaboratively and encourage partnerships to strengthen relationships and improve outcomes.

Demonstrate open and accountable practice, through honest and truthful decisions and actions.

Be creative and innovative in programs, practices and communication.

Respect the people and communities we work with, and one another.

Our Mission

  • Run a Youth & Family Counselling Program for young people 12-18 years of age.
  • Run a Family Support Program.
  • Run a Community House in a responsible and effective manner.
  • Plan programs which are sensitive to cultural, age and gender groupings.
  • Survey the community for gaps in services, and address these gaps.
  • Assess client needs and develop Treatment Plans for clients.
  • Provide counselling/therapy/group work for children, youth, adults and families as required.
  • To assist parents to be skilled in effective parenting.
  • To assist adults to develop functional constructive and responsible behaviours.
  • Run programs that support the counselling program – speech & drama, John Bradshaw Relationships (family therapist’s film series) and group therapy sessions.
  • Provide arts and craft workshops to share knowledge and promote friendship.
  • Run a Foodbank providing fresh bread and vegetables to the Health Care Card holders, augmented by our Community Garden.
  • Network with other community agencies to make links for the benefit of our clients.
  • Promote the activities of our community house to other networks for the benefit of the community.
  • Promote happiness, health and productivity among clients, staff and management teams.
  • Have all professional staff registered as financial members of their individual professional organisation (Australian Association of Social Workers, Australian Art Therapy Association, and Psychotherapists Association).
  • Communicate clearly and efficiently via web site, programs, newsletters and meetings.
  • Remain sustainable by staying strictly within our budget allocation.

Patron of Minnawarra House

Mary Verstegen was asked and agreed to be the Patron of Minnawarra House.
(pictured during the Opening ceremony October 2013)

Mary served as Minnawarra House President from the organisation's inception in 1988, until 2010.

History and background

Minnawarra Community House is run by a not for profit organization called the Roberta Jull Child Care Association named after Dr Roberta Jull who lived and worked in Armadale (on the site of the Minnawarra Park) from 1877 to 1961. Roberta Fergusson-Stewart qualified as a doctor at Glasgow University and graduated in 1869. A year later, she left Scotland and came to join her brothers in their medical practice in Guilford north of Perth. A year later she opened her own practice and was the first woman to do so in the metropolitan area. Roberta Fergusson-Stewart married Martin Jull in 1898; a chief clerk in the Department for Railway Construction who later became the first public service commissioner.

In 1893, Armadale resident, Martin Edward Jull (who was to become the first Public Service Commissioner in WA), planted a large commercial vineyard in partnership with Dr Ferguson Stewart, and imported the first cabernet sauvignon and malbec grapes into the State. This vineyard, built on hill terraces just outside Armadale was called Brookside later named Derry Na Sura – Gaelic words for, 'Valley of the Vine'. Over the following thirty years, the Julls’ became major producers and exporters of wine. At its peak in 1928, the vineyard produced 800,000 gallons.

Roberta and Martin had one daughter Henrietta Drake-Brockman (the distinguished author and historian) When Martin died in 1917 Roberta resumed her medical work. She worked for the Department of Public Health as a Medical Officer for schools for eleven years. Roberta was a member of The Child Protection Society and established Infant Heath Centers in the area for, “keeping children well”.

Although retired from medical practice in 1928 Roberta campaigned for the good health of women and children by having a representation on many associated committees. As a member of the senate of the University of Western Australia (UWA) Roberta was a delegate to the League of Nations.

When Brookside was sold to Warden Owen its name was changed to Minnawarra (a Nyoongar aboriginal word meaning; sacred place) Once more the property was sold and orange trees were planted. The Armadale Council bought the land for 5,500 pounds for community purposes in the 1950’s.

In the late 1970’s The Armadale Child Care Association (forerunner of the Roberta Jull Child Care Association) applied for funds from the commonwealth and state governments to sponsor two child care centers and a Family Day Care Scheme. At this time too, the Roberta Jull Child Care Association received a state government grant to occupy and up-grade an old orchard home (formerly belonging to the Scidone family).The RJCCA turned the house into a Community House and called the old house Minnawarra House. A new road cutting called Orchard Avenue, was made alongside the side of the house. This community house was officially opened in 1988 and received grants through the Department of Community Services Family Support Program to support families and children in the area. Later on, a Youth and Family Counseling Service provided counseling for young people 12-18 years. This service was run from the house. During this time the Roberta Jull Child Care association was renamed The Roberta Jull Community Care Association.

A notice of demolition to demolish Minnawarra House was served on the RJCCA in 2003. The State Government allocated the site of Minnawarra House for building a new Woolworths shopping centre complex. Minnawarra House was relocated to the Reg Williams Pavillion (for a Youth Driver Training Program run by the Armadale Police) on the Reg Williams Reserve in Numalgi Street where it is now.

Minnawarra House
24 Numulgi St, Armadale
Ph: 9497 1413