Sunnylands was a children's home at Wollongbar, near Lismore, started by Tom Agst, the Founder of the United Protestant Association, in 1955. It was the first purpose-built UPA home and was for boys and youth. It also housed some British child migrant boys. Sunnylands closed in 1997.
Agst, a local politician and Protestant organiser, had begun caring for neglected children in his own home in 1938, with his wife Rosetta. He purchased the Sunnylands property in in 1948. It was 100 acres and remained in use as a dairy farm until building started. The first sod was turned and the foundation stone was laid in 1954. In June 1955 the Farm House opened.
Shortly after it opened Sunnylands received a contingent of British child migrant boys. Hundreds of young people spent time at Sunnylands over its time as a home.
Sunnylands was supported with a tearooms, run by the UPA Women's Auxiliary, for local farmers. It closed in 1990.
Sources used to compile this entry: Agst, Thomas Urich [with Robert J Martin], The UPA Story, United Protestant Association of NSW Ltd, Wahroonga, n.d., 67 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, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 22 March 2011, Last modified: 13 May 2015