Riverbank Detention Centre, Caversham

Location

130 Hamersley Rd Caversham

Location Details

Other name is also Riverbank Maximum Security Centre and Riverbank Prison.

Other Name(s)

Pyrton, Riverbank Reformatory for Boys
Riverbank Secure Treatment Centre for Boys

Construction Date

Constructed from 1960 to 1970

The place tangibly shows the development and implementation of child welfare practices by the Western Australian Government, particularly in the secure care and treatment of thirteen to eighteen year old male offenders from 1960 to 1997; The place is significant to the many male offenders and staff who stayed there during its time of operation as a secure facility for teenagers from 1960 to 1997 and for vulnerable adults from 1998 to c.2001. One of these juvenile offenders was the future lead singer of AC/DC, Bon Scott (1946-80); The buildings are a representative example of utilitarian architectural design by the Public Works Department of Western Australia in the 1960s, exhibiting some elements of the Post War International Style; The series of decorative wrought iron security door and window grilles that are located strategically throughout the complex exhibit aesthetic design qualities that are in contrast with the overall utilitarian nature of the site. The place was one of the earliest ‘ribbon’ land grants to be issued in the Swan district and was developed by the prominent Hamersley family who owned the land from 1837 to c.1940s, as a large agricultural landholding known as ‘Pyrton’; The setting on the north-western banks of the Swan River provides a tranquil rural environment that includes cultural landscape elements that date from the earliest period of settlement of the Swan Valley in the early to mid 19th century; The place has potential to yield important information through archaeological investigation of the former use and development of the site from the 1830s to the 1950s; and, The cabin/cell accommodation at Riverbank Detention Centre (fmr) Caversham is a rare extant example of this form of accommodation used for juveniles at this period.