Malmesbury Girls' Home, run by the government, opened in 1950. Initially it provided cottage accommodation for wards of state. In 1960, the Social Services Department began using it for girls considered to need close supervision because of behavioural problems. Malmesbury became a receiving home in 1962.
Malmesbury Girls' Home replaced Cottage House which was in Edward Street, Glebe. Malmesbury took up to 12 children. At the time of the move from Edward Street, there were nine girls and two boys living at the Home. Two other girls had left school and started work but remained at the Home as boarders. At this time, a Receiving Home Keeper ran Malmesbury.
In 1950, there was no power point in the laundry which forced the Receiving Home Keeper to run a lead from the kitchen across the yard where the children played. This created a hazard. The Director of the Social Services Department had to request permission from the Chief Secretary to install a new power point in the laundry. Incidents like this suggest how difficult it was for Receiving Home Keepers to get improvements made to the Homes.
Once children reached school leaving age, they found work, usually in the city as book binders, shop assistants or junior clerks. They remained at the Home as a boarder while they adjusted to working life and then transferred to a Hostel.
Between 1958 and 1962, Malmesbury supplemented the accommodation at Weeroona Girls' Training Centre in La Trobe by taking in girls thought to need close supervision. During this time, the Department reduced the number of children at Malmesbury to eight and staffed it with two of its officers. According to the Annual Report of the Social Services Department in 1958, the accommodation at Malmesbury was inadequate for some of the 'more difficult' girls. This emphasised the need for Weeroona. In 1961, an extension and renovations at Weeroona enabled it to take more girls so the following year Malmesbury became a receiving home.
The Ombudsman's Review of claims of abuse from adults in state care as children: Final Report - Phase 2 of 2006 mentions Malmesbury.
1943 - c. 1950 The Cottage Home
1950 - 1962 Malmesbury Girls' Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Social Services Department: report for the year ended 30th June 1960, Social Services Department, Hobart, 1960; Report of the Department of Social Welfare; for the year ended 30th June 1962, Department of Social Welfare, Hobart, 1962; 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: 23 November 2011, Last modified: 11 March 2014