The Heighway House Project was conducted by the Methodist Church through the Department of Social Responsibility (later known as the Department of Christian Citizenship), and named after Miss Dorothy Heighway, a Methodist deaconess closely involved with the Children's Courts.
In 1960 the Drummoyne facility was opened with support and funding from the Methodist Women's Christian Citizenship Council. The need for larger premises resulted in the sale of the Drummoyne property and the purchase of new premises at 15-17 Duffy Avenue, Thornleigh, in Sydney's north west. The Thornleigh property provided hostel accommodation for 12 working age girls.
In 1969, the Heighway House Project was further extended to premises at 39 Carr Street, Coogee which accommodated nine girls in need of intensive counselling and guidance, the majority being wards of the state. The Coogee cottage was provided by the Youth Welfare Association and was named Bailey Cottage. The oldest of the Hopewood children were placed there.
Following the opening of Bailey Cottage, the Thornleigh house was renamed Elsie Cook Cottage in recognition of Mrs Cook's long service to the Heighway House Project. Elsie Cook Cottage accepted girls who had previously resided at Bailey Cottage, as well as some from Westwood at Bowral who were thought capable of independent living.
The Heighway House Project facilities came under the control of the Uniting Church in New South Wales in 1977 at the time of the union between the Methodist, Congregational and some Presbyterian Churches. Residential programmes for young people were terminated, in favour of programs for adults with mild intellectual disabilities. Reverend Harry Herbert, executive director of UnitingCare NSW/ACT, gives Gordon Trickett, the general secretary of the board for social responsibility for the Uniting Church, credit for this process of deinstitutionalisation.
09 November 2021
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00241
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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