• Organisation

Pleasant Creek Colony


The Pleasant Creek Colony in the town of Stawell was established in 1937 by the Department of Mental Hygiene. It accommodated older children and young people up to the age of 20 who were classified as ‘mentally deficient’. Residents attended Pleasant Creek Special School no. 4549 which was located on the site. Pleasant Creek closed in 1999.

The Pleasant Creek Colony was established when the former Pleasant Creek Hospital was taken over by the Department of Mental Hygiene. Some children transferred to the Pleasant Creek Colony were wards of the Children’s Welfare Department.

Run along the lines of a ‘farm colony’ (similar to the Janefield Colony at Bundoora), Pleasant Creek accommodated older children and young people, up to the age of 20.

In an oral history interview, former resident of Pleasant Creek, Ken Merton, remembered being punished for various things, including bed wetting and not finishing your food. He described being force fed foods that he didn’t want to eat, like tripe. Ken remembered being “belted” several times by staff at Pleasant Creek and needing to spend 3 months in Melbourne being treated for hearing problems.

In 1999, the Victorian government announced the closure of Pleasant Creek, in favour of ‘community living’ options for its residents.

A report from 1991 to the Director-General of Community Services dealt with incidents of sexual abuse of intellectually disabled residents of the Pleasant Creek Training Centre.

  • From


  • To


  • Alternative Names

    Pleasant Creek Special School, No 4549

    Pleasant Creek Training Centre

    Stawell Special School


  • 1937 - 1999

    Pleasant Creek Colony was located at Western Highway, Stawell, Victoria (Building Still standing)


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