The Leslie Wilson Home, situated at Torquay, was established in 1938. The Home was run by a committee from the Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme and provided short term accommodation for children from rural areas of Queensland in need of medical, dental or surgical treatments and recuperation. In September 1985, its role changed to provide long-term disabled residential care. The Home was closed in 1997.
The Leslie Wilson Home, Torquay started operating in 1938, providing accommodation for up to 20 children at a time, from rural areas of Queensland. The official opening of the Home was on Saturday 11 March 1939, where the Home was named after the then Governor of Queensland, Sir Leslie Wilson.
The Home was closed in September 1940 due to World War II and became an RAAF camp from 1942 to 1944, reopening on 1 October 1945. The Home was temporarily closed again in 1951 due to the polio epidemic. In the late 1950s the original building was demolished and replaced and the Home was officially reopened on 17 December 1960 by Sir Henry Abel Smith.
In September 1985 the type of care the Home provided changed and it started providing long-term disabled residential care for children.
[Taken from Royal Queensland Bush Children's Health Scheme: The Train is in. Where to now?: 75 years of caring 1935 - 2010 p. 10]
By 1960, the old home at Torquay was demolished and a new one built to accommodate 24 children. Within a short period of time this Home had to be extended to accommodate another 8 children and staff. Waiting list difficulties dogged the Home from its early days. In the 1980's the Home was refurbished and its use changed to accommodate 24 severely disabled children. The children became permanent residents of the Home and remained there under the supervision of 24 hour nursing care till a change of government policy meant that they had to be transitioned into community settings or at least care settings that were close to their home communities.
The Leslie Wilson Home, Torquay closed in 1997.
Sources used to compile this entry: '80 years of BUSHkids', in Timeline 1935-2015, BUSHkids, 2015, http://bushkids.org.au/1935timeline2015/files/assets/basic-html/page-1.html; Royal Queenland Bush Children's Health Scheme, Royal Queenland Bush Children's Health Scheme: The Train is in. Where to now?: 75 years of caring 1935 - 2010, Brisbane, 2011.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth and Nicola Laurent
Created: 30 April 2013, Last modified: 10 January 2018