Lady Lawley Cottage

Red Cross is consulting with people and organisations about the future of the site.

Update 20 December 2022

Australian Red Cross is pleased to confirm disability service provider Rocky Bay has been selected to take over the delivery of services for children with disabilities and their families at the Lady Lawley Cottage site in Cottesloe, Perth.

Red Cross ceased the delivery of disability services at the historic facility in 2020.

Since then, Red Cross has run a codesign-informed process to determine how best the facility could be used for the benefit of children with disabilities and their families and the nature of services that could be sustainably delivered by other providers.

This was guided by a range of interested groups, and included former users of the site, those with lived experience of disability, peak bodies, disability providers, and other interested parties.

Following the codesign-informed process, Red Cross ran an expression of interest process (EOI) to seek a suitable children’s disability service provider, with the facility being provided by Red Cross to the new provider for a nominal lease fee (A$1 per year).

The EOI process resulted in Rocky Bay being selected by the Australian Red Cross Board, and an agreement made.

The agreement involves Rocky Bay providing services for children with disabilities and families for a lease period of 20 years.

“This is a great outcome for children with disabilities, their parents and carers, and the community,” said Australian Red Cross WA Director, Craig Stewart.

“Both parties anticipate that children and their families will be able to access services early in 2023,” he said.

“As owner and custodian of the site, Australian Red Cross’ role from this point is to ensure the legacy and history of the site is recognised and respected in the next chapter of its story,” he said.

Update 8 September 2022

Red Cross is continuing work to reestablish services for children with disabilities and their families at Lady Lawley Cottage.

Red Cross is in negotiations with a preferred service provider with a view to resuming services as soon as reasonably possible.

It is anticipated that the negotiations will lead to services resuming, with the new provider leasing the site at a nominal rate of $1 per year.

Red Cross appreciates community interest in relation to the re-introduction of services from Lady Lawley Cottage. Until negotiations are complete, it is not possible to provide timeframes on when services may resume. Red Cross will continue to provide updates as soon as we are able and very much looks forward to the resumption of services, and the legacy of Lady Lawley continuing for future generations.

Update 25 August 2022

Australian Red Cross recently concluded an Expression of Interest process to seek a provider for the delivery of services from Lady Lawley Cottage.

Australian Red Cross is now entering into negotiations with a disability service provider about potential service provision at the site.

These negotiations are commercial in confidence. Red Cross is mindful of the needs of children with disabilities and their families, and is aiming to ensure services delivered by the successful provider can be available as soon as reasonably possible.

Red Cross will inform the community of further updates as appropriate.

Lady Lawley Cottage is located in Perth’s western suburbs. It was bestowed to Australian Red Cross in 1944, to deliver services for “crippled and convalescent children” (reflecting the language used at the time). From then until more recently, Australian Red Cross provided respite and other services for children with disabilities.

In 2020, Australian Red Cross made the decision to cease running services at the site due to lack of financial sustainability.

Australian Red Cross is currently consulting with people and organisations about the future of the site.

Australian Red Cross is committed to ensuring Lady Lawley Cottage remains a place where high quality services are sustainably provided to meet the needs of children with disabilities.

Service closure

Australian Red Cross acknowledges the difficulties for children with disabilities, and their families and carers, that ceasing services has caused. Australian Red Cross apologises unreservedly for any distress caused.

Site history

Lady Lawley Cottage has been part of the community in Cottesloe since 1903. Australian Red Cross was bestowed the site in 1944 by Lady Lawley Cottage By The Sea Inc.

Site future

Australian Red Cross is facilitating a process to determine future use of the site. This will be determined by a Management Committee on the basis of what is in the best interests of children with disabilities, and their families and carers, taking into account best practice disability service provision, financial sustainability of service provision, and practical limitations of the site.

The Committee includes two external representatives, being former WA Disability Services Minister, the Hon Sheila McHale, and former Ability Centre CEO, Judy Hogben.

The Committee is working with people and organisations, including:

  • Disability providers (who may deliver services at the site)
  • Government agencies
  • Parents and former users of the site
  • People who are potential users of services at the site
  • People with lived experience of disability
  • Young people
  • Peak bodies
  • Others with an interest in contemporary disability service provision

At this point it is not possible to have a clear sense of when a decision will be made, or when services may be operational. As we work through the process outlined above we will provide further updates as to the timeline to progress matters.

Australian Red Cross has set up an independent panel to evaluate Expression of Interest submissions.

The panel is supported by AOT Consulting, and its work will be assessed by Global Consulting to ensure the strongest possible probity.

Media contact: Red Cross media, 1800 733 443 and

Charity donations of $2 or more to Australian Red Cross may be tax deductible in Australia. Site protected by Google Invisible reCAPTCHA. © Australian Red Cross 2024. ABN 50 169 561 394