Yasmar Children's Court was a specialist children's court located in the historic Yasmar house at Haberfield. It was also referred to as Ashfield Children's Court. Yasmar closed in 1994.
Yasmar was located in a fine house built by the Ramsay family - the name is Ramsay spelled backwards. It was bought by the New South Wales Government in 1944. In 1946 the grand reception rooms of the house became a children's court and others served as magistrates rooms. It became a shelter and centre for juvenile justice. Timber structures were erected on the former tennis and croquet lawns to house delinquent boys.
In 1981 the estate was turned into a Juvenile Detention Centre. New buildings were designed by government architects, guided by the New South Wales Heritage Office, to ensure original features and the garden were maintained. The facilities were named Dobroyde and Waratah and the Sunning Hill Education and Training Unit opened for its inmates. A drawing of Yasmar House was used as its logo, and indeed continues to be the logo at the new site at Juniperina Juvenile Justice Centre.
Yasmar is currently used as office space for the Department of Juvenile Justice.
In many instances, especially in the case of smaller Courts, the depositions of proceedings in Children's Courts are interfiled with the adult depositions. There are, however, several designated Children's Courts in New South Wales: Bidura Children's Court at Glebe (in Sydney's inner west); Cobham Children's Court at Werrington (in Sydney's far west); Worimi Children's Court at Broadmeadow (Newcastle); Minda Children's Court at Lidcombe (in Sydney's west); Campsie Children's Court at Campsie (in Sydney's south west); and Yasmar Children's Court at Haberfield (in Sydney's inner west).
The records listed do not constitute the full extent of the records available. Those listed are the records which appear in the Concise Guide to the State Archives. Since the Guide was last updated it is possible that additional records have been deposited with State Records of New South Wales. In addition, records are still held by the Courts themselves. As all requests for information must be directed through the Clerk of the relevant Court, current information about holdings will be available from the Court.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Two boys escape after arrest', The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 January 1950, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18147630; Jackson-Stepowski, Sue, 'Yasmar', in Dictionary of Sydney, Dictionary of Sydney Trust, 2008, http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/yasmar; Main entrance to Yasmar. This building houses the Administrative Section and the Ashfield Children's Court [Image], Date: c. 1968; McLean, Donald, Children In Need: An account of the administration and functions of the Child Welfare Department, New South Wales, Australia: with an examination of the principles involved in helping deprived and wayward children, Government Printer, Sydney, 1955, 173 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: 27 April 2011, Last modified: 29 July 2015