St Anthony's Children's Home in Kew was established by the Sisters of St Joseph in around 1921. It provided care for mostly boys from kindergarten age to early primary school age, and helped to ease overcrowding at St Joseph's Foundling Hospital in Broadmeadows. Its name changed in 1943 to St Anthony's Home.
St Anthony's Children's Home in Kew was established by the Sisters of St Joseph in around 1921, to assist with overcrowding at St Joseph's Foundling Hospital in Broadmeadows.
The home provided care for boys from kindergarten age to early primary school age. At certain times, girls were also admitted. At the age of eight, children who had not been adopted or returned to their families were sent on to one of the Catholic orphanages. In the late 1920s, St Anthony's also accommodated pregnant women from St Joseph's Foundling Hospital.
Barnard and Twigg write that the site chosen by Archbishop Mannix in Kew was not ideal. Mannix perhaps hoped that St Anthony's location in Kew, which was also the site of Melbourne's key Catholic schools, would attract more public support for the institution.
By 1942 St Anthony's was caring for 140 children, 57 of whom were Wards of the State. Its name changed in 1943 to St Anthony's Home. The Sisters subsequently closed St Anthony's Home in 1976 and relocated to the suburb of Footscray.
In 1997, records of the Sisters of St Joseph were transferred to MacKillop Family Services. These included records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by the Sisters of St Joseph.
While custodianship of the records about people in 'care' became the responsibility of MacKillop Family Services at this point, it was formally agreed that the intellectual property in these records would not change hands.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'A Piece of the Story': National Directory of Records of Catholic organisations caring for children separated from their families, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission & Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, November 1999, https://cssa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Piece-of-the-Story.pdf; Barnard, Jill; Twigg, Karen, Holding on to Hope: a history of the founding agencies of MacKillop Family Services 1854-1997, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2004; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 17 February 2009, Last modified: 25 May 2018