Arncliffe Girls' Industrial Home was established at Arncliffe in 1916, possibly in rented premises, before moving to a house called Dappeto in 1917. It was run by the Salvation Army and was an industrial school and home for girls who had been committed to care by the courts. It was closed in 1930 and converted to The Nest Children's Home.
It is possible that the Arncliffe Girls' Industrial Home commenced in rented premises before moving to Dappeto, a sandstone Italianate mansion that dates from 1885 and was acquired by the Salvation Army in 1917.
Dappeto was built by Frederick Gibbins, an oyster merchant. The sandstone walls of the house are said to be sealed with whale oil. Gibbins' daughter Ada married David Stead, the father of the famous novelist Christina Stead, in the house in 1907, when Christina was a toddler. Stead's memories of her stepmother are that her treatment was 'dubious.'
Gibbins built the Steads another house, in Rockdale, called 'Lydham Hall'. Gibbins died in 1917 and Dappeto was acquired by the Salvation Army.
Dappeto served as a Salvation Army children's home until 1969, when it was converted to aged care.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Victorian Domestic Architecture: Dappeto, built 1885. Girls' Home, Retirement Village', in Postcode 2205: Arncliffe, Turrella, Wolli Creek, 'Sally', 22 February 2008, http://arncliffesydney.blogspot.com.au/2008/02/victorian-domestic-architecture-dappeto.html; The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory, 'Submission 46: EASTERN TERRITORY SOCIAL CENTRES: A list of openings, closings, and function', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care - Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, Senate Community Affairs Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, June 2003, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist; 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: Naomi Parry
Created: 10 March 2011, Last modified: 9 December 2013