Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
The Find & Connect website is changing soon Read more
Tasmania - Glossary Term

Industrial School (1867 - c. 1945)

c. 1945
Type of 'care'

An industrial school accommodated children considered to be neglected.


Industrial schools operated under the 1867 Industrial Schools Act which enabled volunteers to found homes for 'neglected' children. In theory, an industrial school accommodated 'neglected' children while training schools were for 'criminal' children. However, the lines between the two were often blurred.

Industrial schools accommodated wards of state, for which the government paid a small fee, or children whose parents had placed them there. In those instances, the parents paid the fee. There were four Industrial Schools - Hobart Girls' Industrial School, Kennerley Boys' Home, St Joseph's Orphanage, and Launceston Girls' Industrial School.

In the early days of the Neglected Children's Department, its Secretary, Frederick Seager, did not place children in Industrial Schools if he could help it because he believed that they fell 'far short of the requirements of childhood 'and that the 'motherly interest' of foster mothers made training more effective.

Related Concepts

Related Glossary Terms


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Evans, Caroline, Protecting the Innocent: Tasmania's Neglected Children, Their Parents and State Care, 1890-1918, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 1999, 251 pp,; Parry, Naomi, 'Such a longing': black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania 1880-1940, University of New South Wales, 2007,

Prepared by: Caroline Evans