• Archival Collection

Kildonan UnitingCare Records

To access these records

Please contact Catriona Milne, Manager Uniting Heritage Service:

Postal address: Locked Bag 8, A’Beckett Street PO, Melbourne VIC 8006

Phone: 0402 969 621

Email: Catriona.Milne@vt.uniting.org

Website: https://www.unitingvictas.org.au/services/family-services/heritage-service/

Records Location


The Kildonan UnitingCare Records collection dates from 1881 to 2001. The records relate to the operation of Kildonan Child and Family Services and its predecessor agencies. The collection includes client files, admission records, photographs and publications.

Access Conditions

Former residents (and their families) should contact the Uniting Heritage Service to find information, and access personal files. The Uniting Heritage Service is a free service that helps individuals access information about them or family members, as well as access appropriate support should they choose. Heritage Service staff prefer to release records to past residents or their family members in person, where possible, in order to give greater meaning and context to the information.


The collection includes a complete set of individual files and records relating to Kildonan residents dating back to 1881, and these are well documented. For example, it includes the admission and after care books details of those children taken into care from 1881. Individual paper files were produced from 1912, and these have been catalogued and filed. A separate card index was also in use from 1951 – 1983 recording the details of those children in care.

Limited records are available before the 1960s, generally containing a card file and correspondence between the Home and parents, but more detailed information is available from then on. From the 1960s, there are large individual file records and day book entries. The collection contains some memorabilia and Committee minutes and records dating from 1918 – 1964, and a selection of Annual Reports.

The collection includes a large collection of photographs dating from approximately 1940 – 2000. In 2013 a Commonwealth Government Grant enabled the description of the photographic and slide collection that were commissioned for fundraising and promotional activities, and identified as many children and workers as possible with the help of past residents. The focus was on photos of children in care from 1940 – 1980, and, on making those photos available to past residents.

Below is a detailed list of the types of records in the collection:

  • Client files [dates unknown]
  • Admissions records (1881-1941)
  • After career admissions (1888-1928)
  • Register of names (1902-1971)
  • Children’s bank accounts (1921-1933)
  • Letters from Selina Sutherland (found amongst the pages of the Admissions Book)
  • Holiday hosts information
  • Transfer of guardianship files (1888-1905, 1906-1919, 1920-1940)
  • Communications books from residential care units (1994, 1997-2001)
  • Kildonan Council Minutes
  • Board of Governance Minutes, Correspondence and Papers
  • Files related to the various Programs and Projects run by Kildonan, including family group homes, adolescent units and foster care
  • Copies of Marjorie Robinson, Kildonan: One Hundred years of Care 1881-1981, published by the Council of the Uniting Church Kildonan Homes for Children, Camberwell, 1981
  • Typed historical account of Kildonan’s formation [date unknown]
  • Folder of historical correspondence [dates unknown]
  • Artwork proof of brochure ‘A New Direction for Kildonan Homes for Children’ [dates unknown]
  • Newsletter [1961]

Minutes of Committees:-

  • House & Home Committee (1918-1942)
  • Education Committee (1929-1959)
  • Scots Church District Improvement Society (1909-1910)
  • Presbyterian and Scots Church Children’s Aid Society (1920-1953)
  • Executive Committee (1959-1964)
  • Admin. Committee (1965-1972)
  • Finance and Property Committee (1938-1955)
  • Op Shop Committee (1963-1990)

Objects, videos and films:-

  • Black Scots Church District Association metal chest [date unknown]
  • Brown Scots Church Convalescents Aid Society metal chest [date unknown]
  • Toys [dates unknown]
  • Video of Bruce Osborne’s retirement [date unknown]
  • HiFidelity Tape Reel – ‘No Lonely Life’ Jubilee Dinner [date unknown]
  • Stamp: ‘Nactamah Consvmabatvr’ [date unknown]
  • Film reel – ‘In and About Fitzroy’ – the film was prepared by young people at Fitzroy Adolescent Unit for a public meeting, November 1984
  • Kodachrome colour film [content, date unknown]
  • Framed certificate from the Lady in Waiting at Government House to the President thanking the Children of Kildonan Homes for flowers they sent to Her Majesty [date unknown]

The records are catalogued in a MS Access database. From 2006, records that were requested have been digitised.

Dhurringile Rural Training Farm

This collection of records contains some items about Dhurringile Rural Training Farm (i.e. Admission registers with names, and committee meeting minutes that refer to Dhurringile). Please note that this collection does not contain the Client Files from Dhurringile Training Farm.

Finding Aids

There is an MS Access database which lists the location and box number of all individual client files from 1912 onwards.

Records held in other repositories

There are some copies of Annual Reports and other general reports at the following archives:
1. Scots Church – older Annual Reports, newsletters etc. from 1881 to 1977
2. Presbyterian Archive – Annual Reports, newsletters etc. from 1881 to 1977
3. UnitingCare and Uniting Church Archives – from 1977 to present day Annual Reports, newsletters etc.

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