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1950s-1960s – new policy direction

The 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of parent groups, the development of some new services and a growing demand for more community based support services.

For many years, the State Government’s commitment to people with disability was part of psychiatric services. In 1964 a separate Mental Deficiency Division was created within the State Mental Health Services department. This began the separation between mental health and intellectual disability, and a new direction for policy development and service delivery within Western Australia.

Under this new direction, the first eight children were transferred from Claremont Mental Hospital to Pyrton on 11 December 1966. Pyrton provided dormitory-style accommodation which was considered state-of-the-art and represented a significant breakthrough from some earlier types of service delivery.