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Organisation Magill Industrial School (1869 - 1898)
- Care Provider, Government-run and Industrial School
[Taken from the South Australian guide Finding Your Own Way]
Please note that this page reproduces the original language used in the historical sources drawn upon to compile this entry. This language includes offensive and derogatory terms which are today considered unacceptable. We apologise for any offence caused by such language.
The Magill Industrial School was built between 1867 and 1869 on Glen Stuart Road, Magill. The first children did not move in until 1869, many coming from temporary accommodations at the Grace Darling Hotel, in Brighton. It was run by the Destitute Board as a receiving depot for all children who were made wards of the state. In the 1890s over 300 children passed through the school each year. Concerns of lack of space and the proximity of the Boys Reformatory led to the School being moved to Edwardstown in 1898, taking over premises vacated by the Girls Reformatory.
With the proclaiming of the Destitute Persons Relief Act in 1866, the government was given the responsibility to establish an Industrial School and Reformatories for neglected, orphaned and destitute children. The foundation stone for the Magill Industrial School was laid on 21 October 1867 but there were no inmates until the end of 1869. By then 157 children had been transferred to the School. Many came from temporary accommodation in the Grace Darling Hotel at Brighton.
Despite its name, the Industrial School was not an industry training school but a receiving depot for all children who had been made wards of the state. These children came from a wide range of situations and included children who had been deserted, orphaned or charged as 'neglected'. They remained in the School until other suitable accommodation was found for them with a foster family, in service or in another institution. Boys and girls who had been charged as 'uncontrollable', or committed to the care of the state because of an offence, also passed through the Industrial School before being sentenced to a reformatory.
Initially both the Boys and Girls Reformatories run by the government were also located on the site of the Industrial School. In 1890 the girls were moved out to a new location in Edwardstown. The Industrial School then moved into the now vacated girls' quarters, in the northern portion of the building making room at Magill for the boys who were returning from a number of years on the reformatory ship.
During the mid 1890s the average number of children accommodated at one time in the Industrial School was between thirty and forty. However, over 300 children passed through the school during the year. Space in the School was limited and the Council often complained that it did not have the facilities to train the children placed there adequately. Most had to be transferred on to a reformatory or placed into service as soon as possible. There was also continuing concern at the School with its high number of female inmates being on the same site as the Boys Reformatory.
On 21 January 1898 the Industrial School, because of the above problems, was moved from Magill to the former premises of the Girls Reformatory at Edwardstown.
- 1869 - 1898
- Magill Industrial School situated at Glen Stuart Road, Magill. Location: Magill
Records Managed by
- Magill Industrial School, Adelaide
- c. 1869 - c. 1889
- Samuel White Sweet
- National Library of Australia
- Magill Industrial School 02
- c. 1870
- B 1976
- State Library of South Australia
Sources used to compile this entry: George, Karen, Finding your own way, Nunkuwarrin Yunti of South Australia Inc., 2005, http://www.salinkup.com.au/content.php?page_id=4.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 10 February 2011, Last modified: 11 September 2012