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New South Wales - Organisation

St John's Orphanage, Thurgoona (1882 - 1978)

  • St John's Orphanage, Thurgoona

    St John's Orphanage, Thurgoona, 24 June 2010

Catholic, Children's Home, Home, Orphanage, Receiving Agency and Receiving Home
Alternative Names
  • St John's Albury (also referred to as)
  • St John's Home, Wirlinga (also referred to as)
  • St John's Orphanage, Albury

St John's Orphanage was founded by the Albury Foundation of the Sisters of Mercy in 1882 at Thurgoona. It was also known as St John's Home, Wirlinga. The Orphanage first housed girls aged 5 to 16 years and later accommodated 30 British war orphans. In later years it cared for both boys and girls. From 1976, St John's Orphanage was replaced by group homes; it closed in 1978.


St John's Orphanage was founded by the Albury Foundation of the Sisters of Mercy in 1882 and was located at Thurgoona on the outskirts of Albury on the New South Wales-Victoria border. In 1907, the Sisters of Mercy, Goulburn Congregation was created, merging Goulburn with Yass and Albury foundations, and the control of St John's passed to the Goulburn Sisters.

With changes in the welfare system the large institution was closed and in 1976-1978 opened as group homes for children.

The site of St John's Orphanage Thurgoona was, at some stage before 2010, used by Guadalupe House.

St John's Orphanage Thurgoona was mentioned in the Lost Innocents Report (2001) as an institution involved in the migration of children to Australia.


1882 - 1978
Location - St John's Orphanage was situated off Thurgoona Drive, Thurgoona. Location: Thurgoona

Run By

Related Events



  • Jones, Howard C., Orphanage survivors : a true story of St John's, Thurgoona, Howard C. Jones, Albury, 2010, 42 pp. Details

Resource Sections

  • Pattison, Gaye, St. John's orphans reunited, ABC Radio, 774 ABC Melbourne, 2010. Details

Online Resources


St John's Orphanage, Thurgoona
St John's Orphanage, Thurgoona
24 June 2010


Sources used to compile this entry: Immigration Museum, Stolen childhoods, Museum Victoria, 2011-2012,; Jones, Howard, 'Albury to show mercy over 'wrong' fence', The Border Mail, 24 June 2010,; 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,

Prepared by: Melissa Downing and Naomi Parry