Hillside Boys' Home, in Jells Road, Wheelers Hill, Glen Waverley, was established by the Victorian Government in 1959, to relieve 'congestion' at Turana, Royal Park.
Hillside accommodated 30 to 40 school-age boys. In 1959, the Department described its residents as 'of a type not acceptable in foster homes or in institutions and they had no interested parents or relations who could provide a reasonably decent home for them'. The Department described some of the Hillside boys as 'persistent absconders'.
Many of its residents had had a disrupted experience of school, and thus required a 'special school' type of education. This was provided in a two-classroom school on the Hillside site. Hillside was closed following a regional review of residential childcare needs in 1984 - 1985.
The boys living at Hillside participated in activities in the local community, including Scouts, sports and other clubs, and during the Christmas holidays, most boys were placed with local families.
A former resident of Hillside in his submission to the Inquiry into Institutional Care was critical of his time in the Home. He wrote:
'I left Hillside uneducated and illiterate. I had few social skills and felt I was a social misfit. I had learnt that 'care' and 'justice' were words with no meaning, and that rules, institutions and authority were not deserving of respect.'
In 1959 Hillside was on a 10 acre property 'looking over a very pleasant countryside towards the Dandenong Ranges'. By 1981 the property was surrounded by housing on every side.
Dr Phyllis Tewsley, the former Medical Superintendent at Turana, served in her retirement as an 'honorary welfare officer' at Hillside.
26 April 2016
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000247
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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