Redcliffe Home, in Goodwood, was run by the Peirson Memorial Trust. It opened in 1955. The original home was remodelled in 1968, closed in January 1977 and reopened in September1979. Redcliffe Home closed again in November 1983, and reopened February 1984. It finally closed as a group home around 1989/90.
The land on which Redcliffe was situated was originally owned by Henry Edward Peirson (who had been born at Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England), and functioned as a sugarcane plantation called Redcliffe Plantation. Following Peirson's death the property was left to his daughters, who, in 1947 and again in 1953 left it in trust to the Ann Street Presbyterian Church in Brisbane to be run as a training farm for poor boys.
Redcliffe was established in 1955 and licensed as a foster home on 30 September 1955. It was licensed under The lnfant Life Protection Act in 1960 c., then as a residential institution under the State Children Act 1911 on 30 April 1964. It was again licensed under the Children's Services Act 1965 on 4 August 1966.
The original homestead on the property was deemed unstuitable, and so a new building, called Redcliffe, was built. The home was intended to house 18 boys up to 12 years of age, and provide them with agricultural training on the property, which included work on the sugarcane plantation, running a herd of 40 dairy cattle, maintaining a piggery, and keeping chickens. A plantation of 1500 avocado trees was later planted on the property. The boys attended the local Goodwood state primary school and Childers State High School, and received a Christian upbringing. A house was purchased at Avoca Street, Bundaberg, to cater for boys who wished to undertake apprenticeships.
In 1955 Redcliffe received its first four residents, two boys coming from Brisbane and two from Caboolture. The boys were not housed in dormitories, as was the case in many other children's homes throughout Queensland at the time, but had separate bedrooms, each shared between two boys.
Frank Cane was the first person appointed to care for the boys at Redcliffe Home. He had previously served in the army as a chaplain and worked in North Queensland with Aboriginal communities. Frank and his wife, whom the boys called Mum and Dad, took the boys to church on Sundays. If the weather was bad Frank whould conduct a service at Redcliffe. Before going to school the boys would milk the few cows on the property.
By 1960 it was decided that the Redcliffe Home was not adequate, and construction began of a new home on the property called Heytesbury Home, which opened in 1968. Collectively the homes were informally known as the Goodwood Boys Home.
In 1977 the terms of the Peirson Memorial Trust were changed to allow the admission of girls to the Goodwood homes as well as boys, in order to allow family groups to stay together. The Redcliffe Home closed around 1990.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Personal', Brisbane Courier, 9 July 1920, p. 11, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20405112; Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.69.; White, J., In the Matter of Peirson Memorial Trust - Reasons For Judgment, Supreme Court of Queensland: Trial Division, 24 November 1995, https://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/1995/QSC95-308.pdf; Conversation with Lyall Leeson, past worker on Redcliffe Farm, 24 January 2013.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 2 February 2013, Last modified: 29 June 2022