Allanville Home was established at Wellington by the Department of Community Services as a receiving home for state wards. It was established in the mid-1970s and housed 15 children at a time. Allanville Home closed by the late 1990s.
A search of available information about Allanville Home turns up both positive and negative stories. In 2003 the Wellington Times reported that a retired racehorse, Jack, had died at the age of 29. Jack had been loaned to Don Graham, a former worker at the home, in the late 1970s. The newspaper quoted Mr Graham:
We had 15 kids in care. Often one of the kids would bring home a stray dog or cat, but they were unable to keep them. So I thought it might be a good thing if I could bring old Jack up to Allanville. He worked wonders with them, many learning to ride him. And he sure loved the cuddles he got from them.
Don said he had some explaining to do to their cook, Mrs Cummings, when she checked out the pantry one day and found three-quarters of a case of apples and six loaves of bread missing. "Old Jack loved his snack. The kids said Jack also was a bit of a rogue - he loved trimming up my old mate next door Spratty's roses."
"One evening I received a phone call from one of the kids' mothers that had Jack out for a ride. She said that Jack was in the bad books. The kids had tied him up near a big open window to their lounge room. Jack being Jack had poked his head inside and drank the fish tank empty. And a gold fish was missing. It's true."
Don said people often inquired about Jack. "Not so long ago, one of the kids that used to ride Jack - she's an adult now - said to me: 'Mr Graham, it's funny, when growing up as a child I hardly remember the things I used to do, but I will never forget the great time I had with old Jack."
Don said he was very saddened when an old mate, Lindsay Dawson, told him that Jack had died. "He was wonderful therapy for many people."
A much less happy memory for former residents was revealed in 2007, when Wongarbon man David John Boddy admitted sexually abusing 17 boys, from 1977 onwards. He was sentenced to a minimum of 16 years jail. Boddy was a former registered carer for the Department of Community Services and supervised boys at the Allanville Home. Boddy had gained access to boys through church and 'caring' activities.
In 2014, Allanville is a private residence.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Man sentenced to 25 years for abuse of 17 boys', ABC News, 11 April 2007, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/04/11/1894020.htm?site=news; 'Allanville Home, Wellington NSW:', Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/214300961971307; O'Brien, Beryl, 'Old Jack moves on to greener pastures', Wellington Times, 13 January 2003; 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: 23 March 2011, Last modified: 19 March 2015