Inasmuch Children's Home was established in 1956 at Falls Creek, near Nowra, by Major Myrtle Townsend, a retired Salvation Army Officer who had been a welfare worker. It was a home for children who had been removed by the courts or were placed by their parents. Inasmuch was converted to an aged care facility in 1986.
Inasmuch was founded in 1956 but was officially opened on 15 November 1958 by Captain Smith of HMAS Albatross (Jervis Bay). Major Townsend funded the home from her pension and community donations. The house was donated by a Canberra woman, and Townsend received support from the communities of Bomaderry and Sussex Inlet, who provided food and worked on working bees. The naval base HMAS Albatross which provided Christmas presents to the children and hosted them for a week's holiday at Christmas. According to the Australian Women's Weekly, children were billeted during holidays with neighbouring families.
The children of Inasmuch were handed to the care of Major Townsend by the courts, or were placed by their parents. According to the Australian Women's Weekly, many had suffered severe neglect and abuse before they were committed, and were the children of 'prostitutes, drug addicts and drunkards'. Examples given by the Weekly included a baby exposed on an ants' nest at Mascot, a girl who had been severely burned after toddling into a campfire, and a neglected child with polio.
Please note, the photographs in the Australian Women's Weekly depict a rosy picture of Inasmuch, that might not match the memories of former residents. However, it is obvious, even from those photographs, that the children who lived in the home did much of the work, planting vegetables and doing laundry.
Major Townsend died in 1972 as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Following an appeal launched by the Shoalhaven Shire Council, the work was continued by Miss Pam Mooney, a trained mothercraft nurse from Kiama. The children were moved from the property at Falls Creek to premises, given by a benefactor, at Sussex Inlet.
Inasmuch was converted to an aged care facility in 1986.
In 2021, the New South Wales government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
Sources used to compile this entry: 'The Angel of Mercy now has own family', The Australian Women's Weekly, 24 December 1958, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48077279; 'Man with a cause', The Australian Women's Weekly, 28 December, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44796932; 'Obituary for Major Townsend', War Cry, August 1972; About Us, Inasmuch Community Inc. Sussex Inlet, https://web.archive.org/web/20160429055408/http://inasmuchlifestylevillage.com.au:80/about-us; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 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, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 March 2011, Last modified: 5 November 2021