Boys' Town was founded in 1939 by Father Thomas Dunlea (1894-1970) as a residential school to work with adolescent boys and their families to resolve disruption and difficulties at home, in the community and at school. It was run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, an international Catholic society of priests and brothers whose specific charter is to work with disadvantaged youth. The Salesian philosophy is to engage with the positive aspects of young people and their life situations.
According to annual reports, Boys' Town Engadine located in New South Wales, received some children from the ACT requiring temporary 'care' due to 'family crisis.' Prior to ACT self-government in 1989 children requiring temporary placement (for reasons such as illness, hospitalisation or relationship breakdown) could be transferred to Homes interstate.
In 2008 the Salesian Order apologised to former residents of Boys' Town Engadine for sexual abuse conducted by a former priest who had worked at the institution in the 1980s. The Salesians are no longer involved with teaching or dormitory supervision of boys, and trained social workers now run the programs.
In 2010 Boys' Town Engadine adopted the name Dunlea Centre.
03 January 2019
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00141
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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