Blackheath Home, in Oxley opened in 1924 and was operated by the Presbyterian Church. It was situated on the former site of St Agnes Babies Home. Originally a boys' home, some time after 1955 it began to accommodate children of both sexes. It was closed 9 May 1963. At this time, children were transferred to W. R. Black Home.
Mr William Robert Black (mine-owner and philantropist) donated his Oxley property "Cliveden" to the Presbyterian Church in c.1923. The church then established Blackheath Home in c.1924.
Blackheath Home was licensed as a private institution on 5 April 1927, under The State Children Act 1911. State children were first admitted on 24 September 1938. Blackheath Home was licensed under The lnfant Life Protection Act on 27 September 1938.
During World War Two Blackheath Boys Home was taken over by the military and used as the Anti-aircraft Training School, Air Defence.
The Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (1998-99) heard evidence from former residents of Blackheath Home. The Commission's report discusses an incident from the early 1950s, when the superintendent of Blackheath was questioned about allegations that he kicked and slapped the boys around the face and head. The superintendent later admitted to other physical punishments which caused injury to Blackheath children (p.72).
The Forde report states that boys at Blackheath Home all attended one state school. Other institutions took the approach of dividing their children between a number of schools, to reduce the chance of their being labelled as 'Home kids'. It would seem that Blackheath boys were mistreated at school - in March 1955, the Home's superintendent claimed that Blackheath residents were being 'denigrated and punished excessively' by two of the school's teachers (p.85).
When Blackheath Home closed in 1963, children were transferred to another Home run by the Presbyterian Church, the W.R.Black Home in Chelmer.
Sources used to compile this entry: Blackheath [Image], Date: 1930?; Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions, Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions, Queensland. Department of Families, Youth and Community Care, Brisbane, 1999. pp.67, 68, 72, 76, 79, 85, 94.; Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. pp.37-38.; F. E. Lord, 'Brisbane's Historic Homes: Cliveden', Queenslander, 3 December 1931, p. 35, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page2371920.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth and Cate O'Neill
Created: 8 June 2011, Last modified: 12 March 2015