1800 16 11 09
Want some help?
Does this page need updating?
What to expect when accessing records about you.
Other Find & Connect resources
Organisation Kew Children's Cottages (1887 - 2008)
- Government-run, Home and Intellectual Disability Institution
- Alternative Names
- Idiot Ward (1887 - 1929)
- Kew Asylum
- Kew Cottages
- Kew Residential Services
Kew Children's Cottages date back to 1887, It was located adjacent to the Kew Asylum and was also known as the 'idiot ward'. It provided accommodation and education to children with intellectual disabilities. It was closed in 2008.
Kew Children's Cottages became known by that name from around 1929, although the Kew Asylum had housed children throughout its history.
At around 1929 , the Department of Education established the Kew Cottages Special School (State School 4431). It was the first school in Victoria for children with intellectual disabilities. (The school remained in operation until the end of 1991.)
In 1937, over 200 residents of the Cottages were transferred to the institution at Janefield.
In 1957 the administration of Kew Cottages was separated from that of the Kew Mental Hospital.
In 1962 the Cottages were proclaimed a 'training centre' under the provisions of the 1959 Mental Health Act (No.6605).
In 1996, nine residents died in a fire at the institution.
In 2001, the Victorian government announced its intentions to close Kew Cottages. It finally closed in 2008.
- Kew Children's Cottages is situated in Princess Street, Kew. Location: Kew
Records managed by
- Brown, Janet, Dolly Stainer of Kew Cottages, Currency Press, 2006. Details
- Judge, Cliff; van Brummelen, Fran, Kew Cottages: the world of Dolly Stainer, Spectrum Publications, Richmond, 2002. Details
- Manning, Corinne, Bye-Bye Charlie: stories from the vanishing world of Kew Cottages, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2008. Details
- Reeves, Keir and David Nichols, '"No less than a palace": Kew Asylum, its planned surrounds and its present day residents', in Logan, William and Keir Reeves (eds), Places of pain and shame: dealing with 'difficult heritage', Routledge, 2009. Details
- Manning, Corinne, 'Imprisoned in State Care: Life Inside Kew Cottages, 1925-2008', Health and History, vol. 11, no. 1, May 2009, pp. 149-171. Details
- Crawford, Anne, 'Dolly's world', The Age, 10 December 2002. Also available at http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/09/1039379781046.html. Details
- 'Agency VA 2852 Kew Cottages', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au. Details
- 'Agency VA 2865 Department of Mental Hygiene', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au. Details
- Kew Cottages: a history, La Trobe University, 2010, http://www.kewcottageshistory.com.au/. Details
- Judge, Astrid, 'Reflections, memories and sources: growing up at Kew Cottages', Health and History, 2007, http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/hah/9.1/judge.html. Details
- Larkin, John, Hands reach out to children of sadness, The Age, 1973, http://www.150.theage.com.au/view_bestofarticle.asp?straction=update&inttype=1&intid=1164. Details
- Monk, Lee-Ann, '"Made enquiries, can elicit no history of injury": researching the history of institutional abuse in the archives', Provenance, No 6, September 2007, http://prov.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/ProvenanceIssue6.pdf. Details
- Idiot Asylum, Kew
- c. 1900
- Courtesy Kew Cottages Historical Society
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Agency VA 2852 Kew Cottages', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au; 'Agency VA 2865 Department of Mental Hygiene', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 5 January 2010, Last modified: 8 May 2013