Gilburn Receiving Home, run by the government, opened in Wynyard in 1959. It provided temporary accommodation for up to eight children who were wards of the state or supervised in other ways by the Social Services Department and its successor, the Social Welfare Department. In the early 1980s, it became Gilburn Family Group Home.
Gilburn Receiving Home, which was in Wynyard on the north-west coast, was one of the earlier receiving homes to be established in Tasmania. The Department intended it to serve the same purpose for the north-west coast as the receiving homes in Hobart and Launceston.
It provided accommodation for new wards of the state or children on remand from the courts until the Department found a more permanent placement for them. It also took in children requiring temporary housing under the Domestic Service Assistance Act and in transit between homes.
A married woman, known as a Receiving Home Keeper, managed Gilburn with the assistance of her husband, who was supposed to be in paid employment outside the Home. In return, they received free accommodation. The Home was in a solid concrete house which seems to have been in good condition. Even so, the Department appears to have had difficulties obtaining and retaining Receiving Home Keepers. Some stayed for less than a year and only one lasted for any length of time. The problem seems to have been the lack of employment for the husband on the north-west coast, lack of amenities, the deeply entrenched problems that some of the children faced, and insufficient support.
The Department changed the name from Gilburn Receiving Home to Gilburn Family Group Home in the early 1980s apparently to emphasise its domestic environment and the fact that some children stayed in the home longer if they got on well with the Receiving Home Keeper.
1959 - c. 1980 Gilburn Receiving Home
c. 1981 - 1985? Gilburn Family Group Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Social Welfare: report for the year ended 30th June 1965, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1965; Report of the Stolen Generations Assessor, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Tasmania, 2008, https://stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0020-00382$stream; Ombudsman Tasmania, Listen to the children: Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children, Office of the Ombudsman, Tasmania, Hobart, November 2004; Ombudsman Tasmania, Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children - Final Report - Phase 2, June 2006. Also available at https://stors.tas.gov.au/au-7-0057-00034.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 12 January 2011, Last modified: 15 May 2014