Barnardo House, Ashfield opened in 1924 under Dr Barnardo's Homes as the organisation's headquarters and a receiving home for child migrants from England. It also served as a holiday home for children in the Barnardo's scheme who were between employment or getting over sickness. Later it only accommodated girls and trained them for domestic service. Barnardo House, Ashfield closed in 1938 and girls were transferred to Dr Barnardos Girls' Home, Burwood.
Dr Barnardo's Australia relocated from Scarborough House to Barnardo House, Ashfield in 1924. It was officially opened by Lady de Chair on Friday 30 May 1924.
Barnardo House was established in an Ashfield mansion that had been called Melrose. Initially it took boys and girls aged 14 to 18 years, but later on it became a girls training home and hostel with girls from 11 to 14 years .
The home sat on an acre of grounds and the children's dormitory had once been a ballroom and was described in 1924 as having a ceiling trimmed with white and gold.
According to an April 1924 advertisement, from Barnardo House girls were 'drafted into selected good homes for domestic duties.' Boys were 'placed in the country for training in rural pursuits.' Girls were only allowed to come to Australia as part of the scheme on the condition that they worked as domestic staff for at least two years.
Barnardo House, Ashfield was sold in 1938 due to it being in a crowded buisness centre and therefore was deemed unsuitable for the location of a girls home. Girls were transferred to Dr Barnardos Girls' Home, Burwood. The buildings of Barnardo House, Ashfield were demolished and flats were built in their place.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Barnardo House', The Sun (Sydney, NSW), 30 May 1924, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223397862; 'Dr Barnardo's Homes', The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 June 1931, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16789261; 'from ENGLAND - Australia's Adopted Children', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 5 May 1936, p. 12 (Women's Supplement), http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17340436; 'Barnardo Home for Girls - Transfer to Burwood - Ashfield Property Sold', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 22 August 1938, p. 12, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17489822; 'Child migration', in Barnardos Australia: We Believe in Children: History, Barnardos Australia, c. 2014, http://www.barnardos.org.au/about-us/history/child-migration-program/; Dallen, Robert A, 'Dr Barnardo's Homes. Founder's Day.', 24 June 1937, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17384147; 'Dr Barnardo's Homes NSW Appeal for Funds', The Sydney Morning Herald [Advertisement], 12 April 1924, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16145216; LLS, 'Barnardo House. An Ashfield Mansion.', The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney), 14 May 1924, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16135986; Paton, Hugh (Rev), 'Barnardo House. A visit to Ashfield.', The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 October 1924, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16169761; Remmer, Clifford, Nardy Old Boys & Girls Reunion Club, The Remmers, 2005, http://www.nardyaustralia.com/; 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.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry and Nicola Laurent
Created: 17 March 2011, Last modified: 23 May 2016