The Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home, on the Pacific Highway in Gore Hill, was the new name given in 1951 to what had been the Sunshine Institute. It was a residential institution for disabled children and adults. The Gore Hill facility may have closed around 1990, when it was replaced by a new facility at Pymble. In 2013 Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home is known as Sunshine and provides accommodation and respite care for children and adults with disabilities across Sydney and the Central Coast.
Lorna Hodgkinson was a psychologist and teacher of children with intellectual disabilities. She founded the Sunshine Institute in 1924. In 1951, Hodgkinson converted the Sunshine Institute to a not-for-profit organisation and transferred the management of her institute to a board of trustees. After she died the board renamed the institute the Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home.
The Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home featured in The Australian Women's Weekly in September 1958, as part of a fund-raising drive. The article, 'Home for those who are always children', said the Home admitted children who were aged four and over and cared for them throughout their lives, into advanced old age. The home was described as catering to a range of intellectual people with disabilities, including those with Down Syndrome (described as 'mongols') and problems resulting from acquired brain injuries.
According to the Women's Weekly, the home was on 2 and a half acres of land. The staff included a female medical superintendent, who asked not to be named, and nurses and teachers. Fees were charged of between £6/6 and £8/8 a week, but the home undertook to keep the children permanently, even if the parents could no longer pay.
The care provided at Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home has changed in recent decades. In 2013 it was trading under the name Sunshine and provided community care, education and training programs and respite care for children and youth and other people with disabilities, as well as advocacy. Based at Pymble, it runs programs across Sydney and the Central Coast.
1923 - 1951 Sunshine Institute
1951 - Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Home for those who are always children', Australian Women's Weekly, 3 September 1958, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51200593; 'About Us - History', in Sunshine website, Sunshine, http://sunshinelgd.org.au/about-us/history/; Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes: report of the ACOSS children's home intake survey, Australian Department of Social Services: Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp; Turtle, Alison, 'Hodgkinson, Lorna Myrtle (1887-1951)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 1996, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/hodgkinson-lorna-myrtle-10515.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 24 April 2013, Last modified: 30 August 2013