• Organisation

Lutheran Emergency Home for Children


The Lutheran Emergency Home for Children was opened in 1966 in Unley. It was run by the Lutheran Church of Australia as emergency accommodation for children between the ages of two and 12 in need of short term care. In 1978 the average stay was 22 days. School aged children attended local schools and churches. The Home operated until 1984. It later became a Lutheran run home for people with disabilities.

The Lutheran Emergency Home for Children began operation in 1966. The Lutheran Church purchased a home at 1 Edmund Street, Unley, for $10,000 and renovated and remodelled it to make it suitable for accommodating children in need of emergency accommodation.

A newspaper article from 1966 described the purpose of the Home:

A big freestone and brick house on a corner block in Unley will be ‘home’ to children whose parents have abandoned them, who cannot look after them , or are sick for a time. It is the Lutheran Emergency Home for Children, the result of many years of planning and house hunting. The Rev G O Minge, a member of the home’s committee of management , said yesterday that the home had been urgently needed for use in emergencies. ‘It is not an orphanage or a large institution’, he said. ‘Children under 12 will stay generally up to six weeks, then be taken home by their parents or found foster homes.’

At its commencement, the home accommodated eight children, one was a 16 month old baby and another a toddler of two years of age. The building had seven rooms, plus a laundry, storeroom and bathrooms. The children slept in two bedrooms, one with two single beds and another with four beds and a cot. A common room or play room was provided as well as an outdoor play area. School-age children attended St Johns Day School or the Unley Primary School and on Sundays went to the St John’s Church and Sunday School.

The first house parents of the home were Mr and Mrs Gogel of Waikerie. In 1968 they were joined by an assistant housemother who had been trained at the Wanslea Children’s Home. By 1971 a new matron was in charge, Matron Kumnick. Additions were made to the premises so that she lived in a separate self-contained flat. Further additions to the home were made in 1975. The home was licensed by the Department for Community Welfare as an institution for children aged from 12 months to 12 years. They could remain for up to 12 weeks, with extensions allowed with the approval of the home management committee. In 1978 the home reported to the government’s Residential Child Care Advisory Committee that during the month of August, it had cared for sixteen children from seven different families and the average length of care was twenty-two days.

The home ceased to operate as an emergency home for children late in 1984. The property remained in the possession of the Lutheran Church and later became known as Amandus operating as a home for people with disabilities.

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  • 1966 - 1984

    Lutheran Emergency Home for Children was situated at 1 Edmund Street, Unley, South Australia (Building Still standing)

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