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New South Wales - Organisation

Brush Farm Home (1922 - 1988)

  • Brush Farm

    Brush Farm, 31 May 1976, courtesy of State Library of New South Wales.
    Details

From
1922
To
1988
Categories
Children's Home, Disability Institution, Government-run and Home
Alternative Names
  • Brush Farm
  • Brush Farm Girls' Home
  • Brush Farm Home for Mentally Deficient Children
  • Brush Farm Reform School for Girls (c. 1968 - )
  • Brush Farm Reformatory for Girls
  • Thorbery Lodge (c. 1968 - )

Brush Farm Home was established on the grounds of Brush Farm House in 1922 by the State Children's Relief Department. It housed up to 60 girls who were then described as being 'feeble minded'. Over the next 60 years Brush Farm Home housed many girls with intellectual and other disabilities, and from the 1970s housed boys. Brush Farm Home closed in 1988.

Details

Brush Farm House dates back to 1820 in Eastwood. It was leased then purchased by the New South Wales Government and had been used as a children's institution since 1894, housing the Carpentarian Reformatory for Boys, Brush Farm and Eastwood Home for Mothers and Babies prior to its conversion to Brush Farm Home.

Brush Farm Home used Montessori and Kindergarten principles to provide some degree of schooling and vocational training. Housed up to 60 girls. In the 1960s cottages were added but the older dormitory-style accommodation was retained, despite its age and unsuitability, due to the increasing rate of intellectually handicapped girls in care. In this period it appears to have included a facility called Brush Farm Reform School for Girls, or Thorbery Lodge. From 1968 Brush Farm Infants' Home was located on the site, in a separate building. Boys were admitted to Brush Farm Home in 1978.

From August 1980 Brush Farm provided temporary residential care of disabled children, mainly for respite care when parents or foster parents needed a break or a holiday, as a temporary placement centre pending long term care or during family crises, and also for behaviour training.

Brush Farm Home closed in 1988. The estate was purchased by the Department of Corrective Services, who re-opened it as the Brush Farm Corrective Services Academy on 1 May 1989. The property was been sold to Ryde Council, but in 2012 Corrective Services retained use.

Location

1922 - 1988
Location - Brush Farm Home was situated at Brush Farm, Brush Road, Eastwood. Location: Eastwood (Dundas)

Related Concepts

Related Organisations

Related Places

  • Brush Farm (1803 - )

    Brush Farm Home was in the homestead, Brush Farm House, at Brush Farm

    Date: 1922 - 1988

Publications

Books

  • 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. Details

Newspaper Articles

Reports

  • Boyle, Brian, The Child Welfare Schools: Recollections of these unique schools and the men and women who taught in them often under considerable difficulty, unpublished typescript, (618 pp. : ill., ports ; 32 cm), 1996. Details
  • Child Welfare Department, Annual Report: Child Welfare Department of New South Wales, New South Wales government, 1923-1970. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Brush Farm Home
Title
Brush Farm Home
Type
Image
Date
c. 1959
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

The
Title
The "old" home, Brush Farm - one of Sydney's historic buildings, it is now unsuitable as a children's home but is to be retained for administrative and other purposes [original caption]
Type
Image
Date
c. 1965
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

The new cottages and school buildings at Brush Farm
Title
The new cottages and school buildings at Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
c. 1965
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

One of the new dormitories at Brush Farm
Title
One of the new dormitories at Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
c. 1966
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

Brush Farm playing area
Title
Brush Farm playing area
Type
Image
Date
c. 1966
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

House parents and girls in a Brush Farm Dormitory
Title
House parents and girls in a Brush Farm Dormitory
Type
Image
Date
c. 1968
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

Brush Farm girls have morning fruit in the internal courtyard of a new cottage
Title
Brush Farm girls have morning fruit in the internal courtyard of a new cottage
Type
Image
Date
c. 1968
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

Brush Farm home for girls. Reform School for Girls - Thorbery Lodge
Title
Brush Farm home for girls. Reform School for Girls - Thorbery Lodge
Type
Image
Date
28 May 1968
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Science laboratory, Brush Farm reform school for girls, Thorbery Lodge
Title
Science laboratory, Brush Farm reform school for girls, Thorbery Lodge
Type
Image
Date
28 May 1968
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

The high staff-inmate ratio at Brush Farm Infants Home enables close attention to be given to the developmental needs of each child [original caption]
Title
The high staff-inmate ratio at Brush Farm Infants Home enables close attention to be given to the developmental needs of each child [original caption]
Type
Image
Date
c. 1970
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

Intellectually handicapped girls at Brush Farm make good use of a swimming pool provided with the assistance of Eastwood Rotary Club and the manufacturer [original caption]
Title
Intellectually handicapped girls at Brush Farm make good use of a swimming pool provided with the assistance of Eastwood Rotary Club and the manufacturer [original caption]
Type
Image
Date
c. 1970
Publisher
New South Wales government

Details

Brush Farm Buildings
Title
Brush Farm Buildings
Type
Image
Date
31 May 1976
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Brush Farm
Title
Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
31 May 1976
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Brush Farm
Title
Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
31 May 1976
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Brush Farm
Title
Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
31 May 1976
Source
State Library of New South Wales

Details

Brush Farm
Title
Brush Farm
Type
Image
Date
c. 1978
Publisher
NSW Treasury

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Child Welfare Department, Annual Report: Child Welfare Department of New South Wales, New South Wales government, 1923-1970. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; 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, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.

Prepared by: Naomi Parry