Milleewa was a boys' home that was established by the Anglican Homes for Children Association in 1919. It was located in Ashfield and housed approximately 20 boys aged from five to 14 who were 'without homes or not under parental control'. For six months during World War II the Church Mission Society leased a portion of the home as a hostel for Aboriginal women and children evacuated from Croker Island, in the Northern Territory. In 1966 Milleewa was converted to Charlton Boys' Home and Hostel.
The original residence 'Milleewa' was built between 1857 and 1867 by Nicholas Eager, a draper, as a family home. It was a two storey brick house, with a galvanised iron roof and wide verandahs on three sides.
The Anglican Homes for Children Association purchased the house and outbuildings in 1919 and converted it to a boys' home. Extra washing and bathroom facilities were added, the upstairs rooms were converted to sleeping quarters and the vegetable gardens and orchards were retained. The outbuildings were converted to use as a gymnasium and carpenter's shop. Matron Connor was the first matron, and served the home for nine years. Her daughter replaced her in the role.
A Sydney Morning Herald article dated 30 January 1919 reported the opening:
The dedication and opening of the Milleewa Boys' Home in Brunswick-parade, Ashfield, was attended by several hundred people. Mr Arthur Yates, President of the Anglican Homes for Children Association, presided.
After a brief dedication service had been conducted by the Archbishop of Sydney, the opening ceremony was performed by Lady Davidson, who spoke of the great need for homes of this class, and also of the magnificent generosity of those who had subscribed.
Arthur Yates was the founder of Arthur Yates & Co Ltd, the garden supply company. From 1920 to at least 1933 the president of Milleewa was Mrs John Lapish, Lady Mayoress of Ashfield.
In 1925 the Anglican Homes for Children Annual Report stated that Milleewa held twenty boys from all over New South Wales who had lost one or both parents. The sons of soldiers were given preference. Boys attended the Parish Church of St James, Croydon and went to school at Ashfield Superior Public School. If parents could contribute to the boy's maintenance they were encouraged to, and the boys' friends could visit on Sundays. At the home the boys slept in the 'sleeping-out balcony', in the open air.
For six months during World War II the Church Mission Society leased a portion of the home as a hostel for Aboriginal women and children evacuated from Croker Island, in the Northern Territory. The rental was 4 guineas per week.
In the 1960s the Milleewa Committee noted a decline in the number of younger boys needing care so handed the Home and other assets to the Anglican Home Mission Society in 1966.
In 1966 the original house was demolished and new buildings constructed for a new Charlton Boys' Home and hostel, run by the Anglican Home Mission Society. In 1991 the site was sold to the Presbyterian Church for use as an aged care facility but the proposal was rejected. The site was then sold to a developer. The archaeological significance of the site was assessed in 2001 by Godden, Mackay, Logan.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Milleewa Home for Boys', Sydney Morning Herald, 30 October 1919, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15845563; 'Milleewa Boys' Home', Sydney Morning Herald, 7 December 1931, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16809761; 'Pride in age: Australia's Oldest Mayoress', The Australian Women's Weekly, 14 October 1933, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48204084; 'Milleewa Home May Close', Sydney Morning Herald, 09 December 1946, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18018519; 'History', in Church Missionary Society's Website, Church Missionary Society of Australia (CMS), 2010, https://www.cms.org.au/about-us/history/; Milleewa - Archaeological Site, Ashfield, State Heritage Register, Godden, Mackay, Logan, Heritage Branch New South Wales, circa 2001-2011; Crittenden, Victor, 'Yates, Arthur (1861-1926)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Australian National University and Melbourne University Press, 2005, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/yates-arthur-13259; George, Karen and George, Gary, 'Interstate movement of Northern Territory children (1942-1970s)', in Find & Connect web resource, Find & Connect web resource project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2013, http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nt/biogs/YE00088b.htm; George, Karen and George, Gary, 'Croker Island Mission (1940 - 1968)', in Find & Connect web resource, Find & Connect web resource project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2014, http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/nt/biogs/YE00021b.htm; 'The New Charlton: "Milleewa Changes Hands"', Home Mission Society Action, no. 5, December 1966; Correspondence with Church Missionary Society Archivist, 15 December 2012.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 29 November 2011, Last modified: 10 October 2019