Mr William Robert Black (mine-owner and philantropist) donated his Oxley property "Cliveden" to the Presbyterian Church in c.1923. The church then established Blackheath Home in c.1924.
Blackheath Home was licensed as a private institution on 5 April 1927, under The State Children Act 1911. State children were first admitted on 24 September 1938. Blackheath Home was licensed under The lnfant Life Protection Act on 27 September 1938.
During World War Two Blackheath Boys Home was taken over by the military and used as the Anti-aircraft Training School, Air Defence.
The Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (1998-99) heard evidence from former residents of Blackheath Home. The Commission's report discusses an incident from the early 1950s, when the superintendent of Blackheath was questioned about allegations that he kicked and slapped the boys around the face and head. The superintendent later admitted to other physical punishments which caused injury to Blackheath children (p.72).
The Forde report states that boys at Blackheath Home all attended one state school. Other institutions took the approach of dividing their children between a number of schools, to reduce the chance of their being labelled as 'Home kids'. It would seem that Blackheath boys were mistreated at school - in March 1955, the Home's superintendent claimed that Blackheath residents were being 'denigrated and punished excessively' by two of the school's teachers (p.85).
When Blackheath Home closed in 1963, children were transferred to another Home run by the Presbyterian Church, the W.R.Black Home in Chelmer.
12 March 2015
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/qld/QE00058
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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