Mowbray Park had been the country home of Sir Frederick and Lady Waley and was used by the Red Cross Society during World War II before being purchased for a Barnardo's Home in 1928. The home was organised by AW Green, who was a committee member of Dr Barnardo's Homes and had been the last president of the State Children's Relief Department. Green was also president of the Church of England Children's Homes and was involved with the Masonic Welfare Hostel at Lewisham and the Masonic School at Baulkham Hills.
The Home was officially opened in November 1929 by the Governor of New South Wales, though 41 boys from England had already been in residence for some time.
When Mowbray Park opened children split their time between the school built on the property, and practical work, learning farm skills if boys or domestic service if girls. Later on children attended a larger central school in a nearby town.
Some time in the 1930s the home was named Harry Cuzens House, in memory of a previous treasurer of Dr Barnardo's who had served as an honorary inspector.
The Home was for children under the age of 16. Once boys reached the age of 16 they became farm trainees for six months and then were placed out as labourers on farms. Girls were transferred to Dr Barnardos Girls' Home, Burwood once they reached the post-primary standard in education at the local state school. In 1931 Mowbray Park held 75 boys under the age of 15. While in 1938, 32 young girls were in residence.
Until Mowbray Park closed, reunions were held every year at farm school for people who had lived in Barnardos' Homes as children.
Mowbray Park closed in 1959, and was sold by Dr Barnardos Homes (Australia branch) in 1960. In 2012 Mowbray Park was in private ownership and was being used as a farm stay accommodation venue.
04 June 2020
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00295
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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