Winbin was a private home that had been built in 1914 by Ernest Laurence, a solicitor, and had originally been called 'Bellevue'. Alfred Heine bought the property in 1936, subdividing surrounding grounds. The house was bought by the Child Welfare Department in 1952, renamed Winbin and proclaimed as a home for the reception and maintenance of children or young persons admitted to State control on 6 October 1954.
In 1955 a review of the Child Welfare Department described the home as caring for mentally and physically disabled children, aged three to six years of age, who were judged unsuitable for adoption or placement with foster parents but could not be cared for by their birth parents. The home held up to 20 children.
The Care Leavers Australia Network website records that a descendant of Alfred Heine's, Fred Heine, stated Winbin's terracotta fountain had come from the Paris Exhibition of 1913. The CLAN site states that previous owners of a neighbouring property, the McKenzies, recall children moving in lines, two by two, wearing pinafores, around the fountain, which was planted in lavender and that the Child Welfare Department expanded the west wing of the property, adding a dormitory for 20.
According to State Records, Winbin catered for 20 children who stayed only for short periods. The older children were taught by trained kindergarten teachers. In 1974 four female wards receiving domestic training lived in and assisted with the daily domestic duties. In 1975 Winbin closed as a pre-school unit.
According to research done by the staff of the Northern Territory Department of Health, it was a place where children from the Northern Territory were sent, after time in Bidura.
26 July 2023
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE01056
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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