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New South Wales - Organisation

Mittagong Training School For Boys (1947 - 1976)

  • Training School for Boys, Mittagong: Drum and Bugle Band

    Training School for Boys, Mittagong: Drum and Bugle Band, c. 1958
    Details

From
1947
To
1976
Categories
Children's Home, Government-run, Home and Industrial School

Mittagong Training School For Boys, run by the Child Welfare Department, was the new name given in 1947 to what had been the Mittagong Farm School for Boys. It was part of the Mittagong Cottage Homes, and was for boys aged 8 to 17 convicted in the Children's Courts. Some children were transferred from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and placed in this Home. In 1976 Mittagong Training School ceased operating and the boys were transferred to Ormond House, Thornleigh. Mittagong Cottage Homes also closed in 1976, and Renwick, a Home for dependent children, opened on the site.

Details

Mittagong Farm Home for Boys was a cottage home opened on 17 October 1906 as a government-run Probationary Training Home for boys aged 8 to 17 convicted in the Children's Courts. The Home was situated on land already used as cottage style accommodation for state children who were sick or invalid. From 1947 a section of the Institution became known as Mittagong Training School for Boys.

A school was built at the site in 1959, originally to be called the 'Lower Mittagong School' but eventually called Toombong School. The Department admitted in its Annual Report of that year that it wanted to avoid any connotation that the school was 'lower' than any of the other local schools. Another school, called Southwood School, was built later and became the Child Welfare Department's first co-educational school in 1970. At different times, some children in some of the homes went to this Department school, while others went 'out' to the local primary school in Mittagong.

A number of cottages existed at the site in the post-war era, with different names, which housed children of different ages with different needs. Many of these cottages housed children with moderate to severe intellectual and physical disabilities, though it is very unclear, in the reports of the Department, as to which Homes housed which children. Some were:

  • Turner Cottage, which in 1960 housed 27 boys of primary school age
  • Suttor Cottage, which catered to slightly older boys
  • Waverley Cottage, which was a kindergarten-age home in the 1940s, though by the 1960s was housing children of primary school age
  • Renwick Cottage, an individual building which held 20 primary school age boys and in 1976 became the name for the entire site
  • Linden Cottage, opened on 17 May 1968, which was for primary school age girls
  • Rutherford Cottage, opened in February 1969, for boys, and
  • Garran Cottage, opened in 1969, 'of modern design', which catered for primary school age girls.
Children in the cottages shared bedrooms, and were supervised by married couples employed by the Department, who sometimes had assistants. In 1968 the Annual Report described staffing at Linden cottage:

Linden's bedrooms accommodate four children in each room which is divided by wardrobe/dressing table units so giving each girl her own private corner ... The Home is staffed by a married couple, (Housemaster and Matron), three Assistant Matrons, and a Domestic Assistant. This staff group which is larger than that for the boys is considered necessary to provide adequate female supervision and to provide efficient care for the large building without expecting the girls to do more than a reasonable share of domestic tasks.


After the Training School closed in August 1976, the entire complex of cottages at Mittagong was renamed Renwick, which had originally only been the name of one of the individual buildings. The larger 'Renwick' closed in the early 1990s. The site was sold to Landcom, and is being subdivided and developed. The Official Renwick Association hosts annual reunions at the site.

Location

1947 - 1976
Location - Mittagong Training School for Boys was located at Bong Bong Road, near Old South Road, at Mittagong. Location: Mittagong

Timeline

 1906 - 1947 Mittagong Farm Home for Boys
       1947 - 1976 Mittagong Training School For Boys
             1976 - 1994 Renwick

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

Publications

Reports

  • Child Welfare Department, Annual Report: Child Welfare Department of New South Wales, 1955/1956-1969/1970. Details

Resources

  • Official Renwick (Mittagong Farm Home For Boys) web site, Official Renwick Association: Renwick Association Incorporated, 2011. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Heffernan [Mittagong Homes]
Title
Heffernan [Mittagong Homes]
Type
Image
Date
c. 1948
Source
Leonie Knapman

Details

Training School for Boys, Mittagong: Drum and Bugle Band
Title
Training School for Boys, Mittagong: Drum and Bugle Band
Type
Image
Date
c. 1958

Details

Houseparents and boys at
Title
Houseparents and boys at "Rowe", the newest of the cottages at the Training School for Boys, Mittagong
Type
Image
Date
c. 1967

Details

Mittagong Training School
Title
Mittagong Training School
Type
Image
Date
29 May 1973
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Mittagong Training School
Title
Mittagong Training School
Type
Image
Date
29 May 1973
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Mittagong Training School
Title
Mittagong Training School
Type
Image
Date
29 May 1973
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Suttor House
Title
Suttor House
Type
Image
Date
c. 1991
Creator
JRC Planning
Publisher
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Details

Rowe Cottage
Title
Rowe Cottage
Type
Image
Date
c. 1991
Creator
JRC Planning
Publisher
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Details

Goodlet Cottage: Mittagong Training Centre Group
Title
Goodlet Cottage: Mittagong Training Centre Group
Type
Image
Date
1991
Creator
JRC Planning
Publisher
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Details

Challoner Cottage viewed from Bong Bong Road
Title
Challoner Cottage viewed from Bong Bong Road
Type
Image
Date
c. 2012
Creator
Thom, Louise
Publisher
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Official Renwick (Mittagong Farm Home For Boys) web site, Official Renwick Association: Renwick Association Incorporated, 2011; Child Welfare Department, Annual Report: Child Welfare Department of New South Wales, 1955/1956-1969/1970.

Prepared by: Naomi Parry and Liam Hogan