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New South Wales - Organisation

Sydney City Mission (1862 - 1996)

Care Provider, Non Government Organisation and Non-denominational

The Sydney City Mission was a Christian city mission that was founded in 1862. Between 1916 and 1976, the Sydney City Mission operated a number of children's homes: Cowley House at Cronulla (1916-76); Lawson Cottage at Lawson (1927-30), Stonehaven at Springwood (1929-49); Haddon Hall at Hazelbrook (1950-67); and Mt Gibraltar at Bowral (1930-74). In the 1980s, the Mission established a series of family group homes: Clifton Lodge in the city; Lemongrove Lodge in Penrith; Harold Lodge in Ingleburn; and Drummoyne Lodge in Drummoyne. Sydney City Mission merged with other missions to form Mission Australia in 1996, and continues to operate many of the group homes.


Sydney City Mission was founded in 1862 by Benjamin Short who had arrived in New South Wales from England in 1860. Short's aim was to improve the lives of Sydney's poor, and was inspired by the London City Mission. Since that time, the Sydney City Mission has moved from its original aim of evangelism into the provision of welfare services. The Mission has worked with the homeless, the elderly, the young, the unemployed, as well as alcoholics, addicts, prostitutes and the poor.

According to research done by the staff of the Northern Territory Department of Health, children from the Northern Territory were sent to Sydney City Mission homes, but as at 2014, the exact homes were unclear.


Records of the homes run by Sydney City Mission from 1862 until 1983 are held by the Mitchell Library, under the control of Mission Australia. Later records are likely to be held by Mission Australia.


 1862 - 1996 Sydney City Mission
       1996 - Mission Australia

Provided 'Care' At

Related Archival Collections



  • Owen, June, The Heart of the City: the first 125 years of the Sydney City Mission, Kangaroo Press, 1987. Details

Newspaper Articles

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Owen, June, The Heart of the City: the first 125 years of the Sydney City Mission, Kangaroo Press, 1987; 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,; Communication from Find & Connect South Australian team about research by staff of the Northern Territory Department of Health into institutions where children from the Northern Territory were sent, dated 10 April 2012.

Prepared by: Melissa Downing and Naomi Parry