St Joseph's Orphanage, run by the Sisters of Mercy, was located in Clinton Street, Goulburn from 1864 until 1905 when the children were moved to a new site in Kenmore. It provided care for girls aged 5 to 16 years. In 1976 the Home amalgamated with St John's Home, and the children were moved to two cottages and to St John's Home. St John's Home closed in 1984 and the cottages closed in 1987.
St Joseph's Orphanage, Kenmore, was mentioned in the Lost Innocents Report (2001) as an institution that was potentially involved in the migration of children to Australia.
In 2019, the former orphanage is known as Liminis House. A former resident of the orphanage visited the site in 2015 and described what it was like:
Memories came flooding back as I walked down these now quiet and lonely hallways and it was I who ended up being the tour guide [for the new owners], describing the many aspects of our daily lives when I lived here as a child.
As I stood in the entry hallway I could still see myself kneeling down with a toothbrush in hand, scrubbing the intricate parquetry tiles before having to operate the monstrous polisher that was twice my size, being ever so careful as it would throw you around the room like a rag doll while trying to operate it.
1864 - 1975 St Joseph's Orphanage, Goulburn
1976 - 1987 St John's Home, Auburn Street Goulburn
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Former residents return to St Joseph's Orphanage', Goulburn Post, 11 December 2015, https://www.goulburnpost.com.au/story/3553177/former-residents-return-to-st-josephs-orphanage-photos/; Burford, Kathleen E. RSJ, Unfurrowed Fields: A Josephite Story NSW 1872-1972, 1991, 287 pp; Immigration Museum, Stolen childhoods, Museum Victoria, 2011-2012, https://museumsvictoria.com.au/article/stolen-childhoods/; 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.
Prepared by: Melissa Downing
Created: 8 March 2011, Last modified: 9 January 2019