The Trustees of the Hobart Girls' Industrial School handed it over to the Salvation Army on 31 January 1945.
At the time, the Home announced that it would take girls temporarily, especially if their mothers were ill.
In her 1967 thesis, 'The correctional agencies of Tasmania', Mary Daunton-Fear included Maylands in her descriptions of juvenile institutions. She described its exterior as 'a depressing example of Victorian architecture'. Inside there were 'lofty rooms and long draughty passages'. The Home was 'neatly furnished and well maintained'.
It had room for 36 children. Some of the girls had brothers at nearby Barrington Boys' Home, also run by the Salvation Army. Boys at Maylands were transferred to Barrington when they reached the age of six. The contact between the institutions was fairly close.
A Matron and two Assistant Matrons, both Salvation Army Officers, ran the Home with the help of two resident staff members, who did the housework and laundry, and three non-resident domestic workers.
The children attended New Town Primary School or if older, a high school. Some were studying for the Schools Board Certificate but, by 1967, none had matriculated. Those with an intellectual disability went to a special school.
According to Daunton-Fear, the daily routine was as follows:
At weekends, some of the older girls did paid part time work outside the Home, usually housework or ironing. The Matron placed their wages in a trust account for them to withdraw as they pleased. They also received two shillings a week pocket money. On Sundays, they went to the Salvation Army Citadel unless they belonged to another church. Parents were allowed to see their children every Saturday and take them out on alternate Saturdays. On the first weekend of every month, the children could stay with their parents on Saturday night and return to Maylands on the Sunday.
The children could play basket ball and battington (a type of racquet game) at the Home. One evening a month, they did handwork and received help with their knitting and sewing. Older girls could belong to the Police Girls' Club and occasionally go to the cinema.
The girls were not allowed to smoke or wear makeup.
Daunton-Fear states that corporal punishment was not used at Maylands, except as a 'last resort'. Girls who presented persistent challenging behaviours could be sent to Weeroona Girls Training Centre or the Magdalen Home. She writes that, for minor misdemeanours, a girl might have privileges withdrawn or receive 'uncongenial' jobs to do.
This is in contrast to a former resident's submission to the Senate's Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care. She listed a number of severe punishments for wetting the bed, taking food without permission, and running away, including slaps on the face and a beating with a 'large strap'. The former resident also remembers having to scrub a long verandah. If it was not done well enough, she had to do it again. After meals, the girls had to wash up the dishes. This made them late getting to school, especially after lunch, which meant a caning when they got there. There was no privacy at bath time.
Another child was fed liver for her first evening meal at Maylands and refused to eat it. The staff continued to serve her the liver until it became mouldy. They did not give her anything else to eat.
Claims made to the Tasmanian Ombudsman's inquiry into abuse in state care support these statements. The initial inquiry received claims of either physical or sexual abuse from seven former residents. The Listen to the children report (2004) states that:
'During the 1960s and early 1970s, claimants placed at Maylands described a regime of rigid rules and a harsh punishment routine. They allege that they were neglected in their general care and were deprived of decent food, clothes and medical attention. For the older girls lack of privacy included having to bathe with other girls. According to one claimant they only bathed once a week, two girls in the bath at the same time, with the water usually changed after seven pairs of girls had used it. There were no concessions to privacy or when a girl was menstruating. This claimant claimed that she made numerous complaints to schoolteachers about mistreatment and was always told 'not to tell tales'.'
Maylands closed in 1981. Two years later, Maylands Girls Unit opened in the same building. In 2011, it is the home of the Divisional Headquarters of the Salvation Army in Tasmania.
31 August 2017
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/tas/TE00037
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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