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Victoria - Organisation

Northcote Farm School (1937 - 1979)

  • Boys making hay at the Northcote Training Farm, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Vic

    Boys making hay at the Northcote Training Farm, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Vic, c. 1937
    Details

From
1937
To
1979
Categories
Care Provider, Children's Home, Farm School, Government-run, Home, Non-denominational and Receiving Agency
Alternative Names
  • Lady Northcote Farm School (Also known as)
  • Lady Northcote Recreation Camp (Also known as)
  • Northcote School (Also known as)
  • Northcote School Children's Home (Also known as, 1976 - 1979)

The Northcote Farm School was established at Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, in 1937. It was the only institution in Victoria to have been constructed specifically for child migrants. From 1937 to 1958, the Northcote Farm School received a total of 273 child migrants and from 1962 it accepted local children, including wards of the state. It was run by the Northcote Trust until the Social Welfare Department took over in 1976. It closed in 1979.

Details

The Northcote Farm School was established at Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, in 1937. The Farm was established as a result of a bequest by Lady Northcote, an admirer of Kingsley Fairbridge and his Farm School initiative. The Farm School was based on Fairbridge principles.

Although the Northcote Farm was established independently of Fairbridge it soon developed a close relationship with the Fairbridge Society, with the Society agreeing to select and send children from Britain to the farm school.

The Northcote Farm School received 273 child migrants in total, between 1937 and 1958 (Lost Innocents Report, Table 3.2 Numbers of Fairbridge Child Migrants).

A group of 28 children (16 boys and 12 girls, the first girls to be placed at the farm school) arrived on the Largs Bay ship on 17 May 1938, bound for the Northcote Farm at Bacchus Marsh. The Age newspaper reported that many of these children were related to the first group of migrant boys who arrived at Northcote Farm in July 1937.

According to the entry in the Victorian Heritage Database:

Due to the war, child migration was suspended between 1939 and 1948, and in view of the decline in arrivals, in 1944 all Northcote children, and a number of cottage mothers were sent to the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong. From 1948 until 1958, 17 more groups of children were brought to the Lady Northcote Children's Village. As child migrant numbers were in decline, 'One Parent' and 'Two Parent' schemes were adopted by Northcote in 1959.

The Northcote School Act was passed in 1960, making it possible for other children, including Victorian wards of state, to be placed at the Home. According to the preamble of the Act:

  • the Northcote School can provide accommodation for at least one hundred children;
  • the English trustees have recently been unable to secure sufficient children from Great Britain qualified under the trust for education and upbringing at the Northcote School
  • there are now not more than 20 English children at the School
  • the Australian trustees have resolved to disband the School at the end of 1960 unless additional children can be admitted.

In the mid 1970s, the Northcote Trustees sold part of the farm school site at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria and gifted the village to the Victorian Government (the terms of this sale were set out in the Northcote Trust Fund Act 1975).

Children were then housed in cottages in a campus setting.

It was a government-run children's Home until it was closed in 1979. Funds were redirected to replacement family group homes and to support other regional family service programs.

In 2008, the Recreation Camp is owned by Sport and Recreation Victoria and continues its association with children and young people.

One of its remaining buildings, House 12, was granted to the 'Old Northcotians', the former residents' society.

In October 2008 the Lady Northcote Recreation Camp was included in Victoria's Heritage Register for its cultural heritage significance. It is the only institution in Victoria to have been constructed specifically for child migrants.

Location

1937 - 1979
Location - The Northcote Farm School was located at Glenmore Road, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh. Location: Bacchus Marsh

Run By

Related Archival Collections

Related Glossary Terms

Publications

Books

  • Clough, L. M., Northcote: our heritage an account of the Northcote Children's Home, formerly Northcote Farm School at Rowsley, via Bacchus Marsh, Vic., [The Author], [Melbourne?], 1987?, 92 pp. Details
  • Stocker, John B., The Lady Northcote Farm School, Glenmore, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria: a home and training farm for British child migrants 1937-1976, as experienced by one of them, J. B. Stocker, [Bacchus Marsh, Vic], [1990?]. Details

Journals

  • The Old Northcotian: magazine of the Old Northcotians' Association, Northcote Farm, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, vol. 3, no. 1-4, 1949-1951. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Immigration - Northcote Farm, 40 miles from Melbourne, Vic
Title
Immigration - Northcote Farm, 40 miles from Melbourne, Vic
Type
Image

Details

Immigration - Northcote Farm, 40 miles from Melbourne, Vic
Title
Immigration - Northcote Farm, 40 miles from Melbourne, Vic
Type
Image

Details

Boys making hay at the Northcote Training Farm, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Vic
Title
Boys making hay at the Northcote Training Farm, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh, Vic
Type
Image
Date
c. 1937

Details

Boys at Northcote Training Farm school, Glenmore, forking hay into a cart
Title
Boys at Northcote Training Farm school, Glenmore, forking hay into a cart
Type
Image
Date
c. 1937

Details

Boys mustering cattle at Northcote Training Farm school, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh
Title
Boys mustering cattle at Northcote Training Farm school, Glenmore, near Bacchus Marsh
Type
Image
Date
c. 1937

Details

Boys at Northcote Training Farm school at Glenmore near Bacchus Marsh - holding piglets
Title
Boys at Northcote Training Farm school at Glenmore near Bacchus Marsh - holding piglets
Type
Image
Date
c. 1937

Details

Boys for farm school
Title
Boys for farm school
Type
Image
Date
27 July 1938
Source
The Age

Details

Northcote Farm School children disembarking
Title
Northcote Farm School children disembarking
Type
Image
Date
1947
Publisher
Museum Victoria

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: Young Immigrants, The Age, 18 May 1938, 12 pp, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206955033; 'Northcote School Act 1960', in Victorian Historical Acts, Australasian Legal Information Institute, 1960, http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/hist_act/nsa1960196/; 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; Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, Parliament of Australia, Lost Innocents: righting the record - report on child migration, Commonwealth of Australia, 30 August 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm; 'Victorian Heritage Database place details - 22/10/2015 - Lady Northcote recreation camp', in Victorian Heritage Database, http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/26773.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill