Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
New South Wales - Organisation

Waitara Foundling Home (1898 - 1927)

  • Front of Home [Waitara and Our Lady of Mercy]

    Front of Home [Waitara and Our Lady of Mercy], 1950s - 1960s, courtesy of Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation.
    Details

From
1898
To
1927
Categories
Adoption Agency, Babies' Home, Catholic, Children's Home, Home, Lying-in Home and Orphanage
Alternative Names
  • Home for Foundlings (also known as)
  • Waitara (also known as)
  • Waitara Home (also known as)
  • Waitara Orphanage (also known as)

The Waitara Foundling Home was established in 1898 by the Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation as a home for babies and for unmarried mothers, who were referred from hospitals throughout the eastern states of Australia. In 1928 the Waitara Foundling Home was renamed Our Lady of Mercy Home.

Details

The Waitara Foundling Home was first established in an old cottage on Leek's Orchard. In 1902, a two-storey brick home for mothers and babies was built, providing accommodation for mothers and their babies from hospitals and private homes throughout the eastern states of Australia.

In 1921, Waitara Foundling Home was granted 5 shillings per week for every orphan in its care by the NSW Government. This allowance was extended to a range of private institutions that cared for children.

In 1925 a pre-school kindergarten was opened within the Home, for the children in residential care.

Whenever possible, mothers remain with their children until they were weaned.

The Waitara Foundling Home was renamed Our Lady of Mercy Home in 1928 in recognition of the fact that many of the children in the home were not orphaned.

Location

1898 - 1977
Location - Waitara Foundling Home was situated at Waitara. Location: Waitara

Timeline

 1898 - 1927 Waitara Foundling Home
       c. 1928 - 1977 Our Lady of Mercy Home, Waitara
             1977 - 1994 Mercy Family Life Centre, Waitara
                   1994 - 2001 Mercy Family Centre, Waitara

Related Organisations

Publications

Reports

  • Looking Back: A foundling home at Waitara, Mercy Family Centre Annual Report, Mercy Family Centre, 1984, 4-8 pp. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Waitara Old Chapel
Title
Waitara Old Chapel
Type
Image
Date
1950s - 1960s
Source
Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation

Details

Front of Home [Waitara and Our Lady of Mercy]
Title
Front of Home [Waitara and Our Lady of Mercy]
Type
Image
Date
1950s - 1960s
Source
Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation

Details

Young mother entering Home [Waitara]
Title
Young mother entering Home [Waitara]
Type
Image
Date
1950s - 1960s
Source
Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation

Details

Title
"Looking Back: A foundling home at Waitara"
Type
Document
Date
1984
Source
Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Orphans', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 February 1921, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15959476; Looking Back: A foundling home at Waitara, Mercy Family Centre Annual Report, Mercy Family Centre, 1984, 4-8 pp; 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, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf; Email correspondence with Sister Miriam Grech, Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney Congregation, 17 October 2012.

Prepared by: Naomi Parry