Alkira, Salvation Army Home for Boys, in Indooroopilly (now called Chapel Hill) was previously known as the Cooinda Salvation Army Boys' Home. The name was changed to Alkira, Salvation Army Home for Boys in 1969. The home closed in 1983 when funding ceased.
According to the report of the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (1999), the structure at Alkira was approximately 24 children being looked after by houseparents, usually a married couple. 'The male houseparent generally held outside employment, so the wife might find herself responsible for managing 24 boys on their return from school.'
Former residents of Alkira gave evidence to the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions in 1998-1999.
Former residents described the highly regimented fashion in which the activities of the Home were carried out. The boys rose at a designated time, and performed their daily activities according to a set routine and timetable. A resident in the late 1950s and early 1960s spoke of being marched, military-style, to the dining room where the evening meal took place according to an invariable
procedure of standing, saying Grace, eating in unison, and sitting between courses with arms folded.
Evidence given to the Inquiry about excessive corporal punishment at Alkira was supported by departmental files from the 1970s examined by the Commission. According to the report:
Former residents of Alkira told of various staff members using physical punishments against children for a variety of 'misdemeanours' including, for example, absconding, being out of bounds, talking through meal or study time, not closing eyes while praying, talking to girls or playing with them in the school grounds, talking on the way to school, or not sitting up straight while watching television.
In January-February 2014, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse held a public hearing in Sydney examining the Salvation Army's response to allegations of child sexual abuse at Homes in New South Wales and Queensland, including Alkira and its predecessor Homes at Indooroopilly.
1922 - 1942 Industrial School for Boys
1942 - 1945 Boys Home, Washpool
1946 - 1968 Boys Home, Indooroopilly
1968 - 1969 Cooinda Salvation Army Home for Boys
1969 - 1983 Alkira, Salvation Army Home for Boys
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.30.; Palmer, Kevin, Boys' Home to Broadway, Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation, Broome, 2010, 239 pp.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 7 June 2011, Last modified: 28 September 2021