The Central Mission Home for Neglected Children, also known as Waverley House and the Home for Waifs and Strays, opened in Woolloomooloo Street, Woolloomooloo in October 1893. It was moved to Croydon in 1900 and was renamed Dalmar.
The Central Mission Home was supported by the Ladies' Committee of the Sydney Central Methodist Mission and was situated in a house given for that purpose by businessman and philanthropist Ebenezer Vickery.
The aim of the Central Mission Home was stated in the Annual Report of 1895/96:
the rescuing, body and soul, of those little street Arabs who are commonly known as nobody's children' and was later expressed in terms of 'rescuing the little waifs and strays from scenes of poverty, cruelty and neglect.
Many of the children were not orphans but were admitted due to a variety of circumstances. Some eventually were returned to their families, while others where 'adopted' out.
By 1898 the Home in Woolloomooloo had become too small and in the following year the House Committee located a suitable property in Dalmar Street, Croydon. Waverley House was sold to raise funds for the new venture. In January 1900, the children moved into the new premises, and not long afterwards, the name 'Dalmar' was chosen.
The Wesleyan Mission 200 year anniversary web page describes the establishment of Waverley House:
The home was created in response to the growing prevalence of child poverty, neglect and abuse, combined with widespread baby farming practices which were a cause for concern for church and community groups.
1893 - 1900 Central Mission Home for Neglected Children
1900 - Dalmar
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Children's Home', The Methodist, 4 November 1893, pp. 1-, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155399745; Wesley Dalmar: over a century of caring, Wesley Mission, 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20170424114846/https://www.wesleymission.org.au/home/our-services/wesley-foster-care-services/wesley-dalmar/welcome-to-wesley-dalmar/; Wesley Mission 200 Years Pioneering Care: Celebrating the bicentenary of Methodism in Australia, Wesley Mission, 2012, https://web.archive.org/web/20140719125406/http://www.wesleymission.org.au/200years/history.asp; 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 & Naomi Parry
Created: 17 March 2011, Last modified: 18 October 2017