The Singleton Boys' Home was run by the Aborigines Protection Board in Singleton after the Board took over the management of the Singleton Home and St Clair Mission from the Aborigines Inland Mission in 1920. It was a home for boys aged from four to fourteen who had been removed from their families and NSW Aboriginal stations and reserves under the Aborigines Protection Act for 'training'. Children were transferred between this Home and Cootamundra Training Home. The Singleton Home was closed and replaced by the Kinchela Training Home for Aboriginal Boys in 1923. The building was demolished.
Historian Christine Brett-Vickers wrote to Find & Connect in 2012 to share her understanding of the Singleton Home, which she had derived from studying George and Jennie Smith, the AIM missionaries who ran the Singleton Children's Home from 1910 until 1920:
By 1918 there were 50 children living in a home designed for less than 20. The Board did not increase funding and, indeed bought the home from its owner, Sir Albert Gould, and then ousted the mission. There must have been plans then and talk of making the home a boys home … the missionaries tried to resist this but in the end broke down.
After the Board took over, many of the children were sent to other Aboriginal institutions. Dr Brett-Vickers says:
There was a great transition of children from Singleton in June 1920 as the board sent the younger boys to Bomaderry and the girls to Cootamundra & Bomaderry had to send its older boys, between 10 and 14 in age to Singleton & and the girls to Cootamundra.
From 1920 it was referred to as the Singleton Boys Home by the Board. It only took in boys from the ages of 10 to 14. But the home was run down, condemned and demolished in 1923 and the lot [were] moved to Kinchela.
1905 - 1910 Singleton Home
1910 - 1920 Singleton Aboriginal Children's Home
1920 - 1923 Singleton Boys' Home
1923 - 1970 Kinchela Training Home for Aboriginal Boys
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Our Aim newsletters', in Aborigines' Inland Mission newsletters, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 1907-1961, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/aborigines-inland-mission-newsletters/our-aim-newsletters; Brett-Vickers, Christine, 'A missionary in the family : George and Jennie Smith and Aboriginal people, New South Wales 1890-1920', PhD thesis, School of History, LaTrobe University, 2007; Gray, Anna, St Clair Mission, Australian Museum, Australian Museum, 2010. Also available at http://australianmuseum.net.au/St-Clair-Mission/; New South Wales. Aborigines Protection Board (ed.), Report of the Board, Government Printer, 1881-1941. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-vn1447508; Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880-1940, Department of History, University of New South Wales, 2007, 361 pp, http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:1369/SOURCE01?view=true; Radi, Heather, 'Long, Margaret Jane (Retta) (1878-1956)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/long-margaret-jane-retta-10857; Email correspondence from Dr Christine Brett-Vickers, 21-22 January 2013 and 15 May 2014.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 16 May 2014, Last modified: 19 March 2015