A place where children who have lost their parents, through death or illness and abandonment, are cared for.
The Catholic and Protestant Orphanages in Sydney, which cared for thousands of children, were founded in the 1820s, with government support. However the State Children's Relief Act of 1881 was intended to remove children from dormitory-style accommodation and board them out and the orphanages closed within a few years of the new legislation. From then on, religious organisations ran smaller orphanages in the city and regional areas.
Orphanages were, to some, sites of benevolence, but to the children who lived in them they could be sites of deprivation and abuse.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 27 October 2011, Last modified: 15 May 2017