Tresillian Wollstonecraft, or Carpenter House, was a Tresillian Mothercraft Home that was established in 1940. It was a mothercraft training home for nurses and, by the 1960s, housed around 200 mothers and 260 babies during the course of a year. In 2012 Tresillian Wollstonecraft was still providing services to mothers and babies from Carpenter House.
Tresillian Wollstonecraft began when Sir Walter Carpenter gave his property on Shirley Road to the State of New South Wales to be used as a rest home for new mothers. It was handed over to Tresillian and called Carpenter House.
From the 1950s to the 1970s a number of unmarried pregnant women were sent to Tresillian Centres by social workers from Sydney hospitals. The women were paid as domestic help, and worked around the homes. At the time social workers considered this was a better option than working in private households or commercial laundries. These women were not patients, but staff, and no records of their work survives.
Sources used to compile this entry: Annual Report [Tresillian Mothercraft Homes], The Society: Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies, Sydney, 1920-. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1655465; Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies, Tresillian mothercraft homes: fifty year jubilee, 1920-1970, O'Connor, Graham, Petersham, 1970, 14 pp; Wellfare, Dian, Breaches of Adoption Regulations, Laws and Crimes: Inhumane Hospital Practices, Origins Inc, 1995, http://lilyfair1.tripod.com/law/id16.html; Wellfare, Dian, NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Into Adoption Practices Personal Submission, Origins Inc, 1995, http://www.originsnsw.com/nswinquiry2/id14.html; Interview with Miss Elaine Carr, former staff member from Tresillian Vaucluse and Matron at Tresillian Petersham, 27 September 2012.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 26 September 2012, Last modified: 18 May 2014