Tallimba was established at Camden on the 26 October 1973 by the Department of Child Welfare and Social Welfare. It was a training school for young male offenders, and used a pioneering 'therapeutic community' model of individual, group and family therapy. It probably closed in the 1980s.
Tallimba was designed as a 'short-term intensive treatment centre for young male offenders', reflecting newer ideas about juvenile justice and delinquency just then coming into use. Boys who were sent there were expected to take part in their own psychological therapy, and to engage with staff and social workers. It had an 'emphasis on parent participation', another indication of changing ideas about delinquency in society and in the social work field.
In the words of the 1974 Annual Report of the Department of Youth
and Community Services, with the opening of Tallimba
... a new concept in the residential care of delinquent boys began. Tallimba was developed as a therapeutic community to provide an intensive programme of relatively short duration for a maximum of 24 boys between the ages of 14 and 16 ... Tallimba community functions with a higher degree of democracy, communalism and confrontation.
The 1977 Annual Report described the involvement of parents as being required in Tallimba's programme:
Tallimba is an open unit which has established a high degree of interaction and trust. Part of the criteria for admission to Tallimba involves the willingness of the parent or parents to participate in the general programme so that intensive work can be undertaken with individual boys and their families.
Tallimba probably closed some time in the 1980s.
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the Department of Youth and Community Services for the year ended 30 June, New South Wales government, 1976-1988. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; Annual Report: Department of Youth and Community Services, Government Printer, Sydney, 1980/81-1986/87; 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: Liam Hogan
Created: 23 March 2011, Last modified: 19 March 2015