The Croagh Patrick Orphanage was a boys' home in Orange that was run by the Bathurst Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy. Previously, it was known as the Croagh Patrick Home, run by the Daughters of Charity from 1928 until 1969. It cared for boys aged three to twelve years and after the closure of St Joseph's Orphanage, Bathurst, in 1975 would take girls aged three to sixteen years. Around 1980 a Family Crisis Centre was added to the Orphanage. Croagh Patrick Orphanage and the Family Crisis Centre closed in 1986. In 1989 the building was taken over by Kinross-Wolaroi School before being sold to OCTEC Inc. in 1995, a training and disability service.
After the Sisters of Mercy took over operation of Croagh Patrick Orphanage in 1969, it remained a boys only establishment until 1975. At that time, some girls were transferred to Croagh Patrick from the recently-closed St Joseph's Orphanage in Bathurst, mainly siblings of the boys already resident at Croagh Patrick Orphanage.
At the time the Croagh Patrick Orphanage closed in 1986, the Bathurst Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy was one of the independent congregations making up the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia (ISMA). ISMA became part of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) in 2011, at which time the Bathurst Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy was disestablished.
In early-mid 1986 the decision to close the Orphanage and Family Crisis Centre was made. The opportunity to continue the Family Crisis Centre was offered to the Missionaries of Charity but they declined. The building was left empty until 1989 when Kinross-Wolaroi School in Orange took over the building as a boarding house. It was known as Croagh Patrick House and was used until 1994. In 1995 Orange Community Training and Education Centre (OCTEC) took over Croagh Patrick House. Since 2003 it has been known as Croagh Patrick College and a major redevelopment of the site occurred between 2010 and 2012 to turn it into a community services and health training facility.
1929 - 1969 Croagh Patrick Home
1969 - 1986 Croagh Patrick Orphanage
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic Organisations Caring for Children Separated from Families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, 1999, https://cssa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Piece-of-the-Story.pdf; 'Restoration for Croagh Patrick', Central Western Daily, 17 May 2004, http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/759694/restoration-for-croagh-patrick/; 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 with Archivist at Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea Archives, dated 17 February 2015, subject: RE: Additional series on Find & Connect website that weren't in RADP, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Melissa Downing and Naomi Parry and Nicola Laurent
Created: 7 March 2011, Last modified: 9 January 2019