Marella Aboriginal Temporary Care, was a programme for Aboriginal children run by Church of England Homes on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Marella Aboriginal Temporary Care was a family group home, located in Marrickville and staffed by Aboriginal people. It opened in 1979 and closed in the late 1990s. There was a second house in the program, Havilah (1979-1985). Marella Aboriginal Temporary Care was sponsored by the Sky Pilot Foundation, which had run Marella Mission Farm.
Marella Aboriginal Program was sponsored by the Sky Pilot Foundation and Marella Mission Farm Ltd, which were not-for-profit organisations headed by Keith Langford Smith. They had run Marella Mission Farm, which was a foster home for Aboriginal children.
By the 1980s Marella was running as a family group home for Aboriginal children. In 1984, in its newsletter Care, Church of England Homes described the purpose of its group homes:
Cornwall [Cornwell], Buckland, Havilah and Marella are our Group Homes which provide longer term care. Perhaps the children aren't getting normal care at home. Maybe they have missed out on it for a long time. These homes provide a kind of holding situation. But one which avoids damaging them still further by providing them with a good model of a positive family-type experience. Meanwhile, everything possible is being done through the counselling service to restore family relationships. Hopefully, after six months, usually sooner, the family can get back together or foster placement can be arranged. Two of our homes are for Aboriginal children. They are managed and staffed by Aborigines and are the first of their kind.
At the time, Church of England Homes employed a team of social workers to work with the family and help communications between parents and children, as well as provide counselling and short-term financial support, if needed.
In 2021, the New South Wales government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
Sources used to compile this entry: Care, Anglican Home Mission Society, Sydney, 1985-; The Church of England Homes doing the job [Document], Date: 1984; Platt, Matthew and Verdich, Kathleen, General Guide to the Collections in the Samuel Marsden Archives at Moore Theological College, University of New South Wales, 1987, http://myrrh.library.moore.edu.au/handle/10248/4112; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf; Email from Anglicare Out-of-Home Care staff, 26 May 2014.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 3 March 2011, Last modified: 5 November 2021