The Presbyterian Babies' Home opened in 1928 in East Melbourne. In around 1933, the Home relocated to Camberwell. It housed babies and children up to the age of four. In 1977, it became the Canterbury Family Centre.
The Argus newspaper reported on the opening of The Presbyterian Babies' Home by Lady Stonehaven on 26 October 1928. It was located in a remodelled portion of the Old Scotch College, Lansdowne Street, East Melbourne.
The Babies' Home launched an appeal in 1929 to raise £5,000 to help its work 'caring for unwanted children'.
The Presbyterian Babies' Home relocated to Camberwell, to a former mansion known as 'Linda', donated to the Church in 1929.
The 'Linda' mansion, at 19 Canterbury Road, Camberwell was donated to the Presbyterian Church in 1925, by Elizabeth McNeill McCormick in 1925 in memory of her late father, WJ Craig.
The Babies' Home was invited to take over the Camberwell site in 1929. Previously, it housed a hostel for young women known as the Craig Memorial Hostel. This hostel closed after going into debt.
The foundation stone at the new Home was laid in June 1933. The Babies' Home was for children up to the age of four.
The Camberwell property was remodelled for its new tenants - babies were housed at the rear, and the Home's staff and administration were at the front, in the main house. The Babies' Home also provided mothercraft training.
In 1971, the Child Care Service of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches was established. This led to a reorganisation of the adoption services of Presbyterian and Methodist Babies' Homes. From 1971, the arrangement of adoptions and supervision of placements was carried out by Methodist Babies' Home staff.
In 1977, the Presbyterian Babies' Home was renamed the Canterbury Family Centre. The Centre's director Carol Richards oversaw significant reforms, including the construction of four units on the grounds of the Home, where children and staff had immediate access to psychologist and social workers.
Sources used to compile this entry: Presbyterian Babies' Home, The Argus, 27 October 1928, 17 pp, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3965605; Presbyterian Babies' Home. Appeal for 5,000 pounds. Caring for unwanted children., The Argus, 12 February 1929, 6 pp, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3995922; 'Historical Details', Kildonan Uniting Care, 7 September 2007; Reconnections and Recollections: Charting the History of Connections UnitingCare, Connections UnitingCare, May 2010, http://web.archive.org/web/20140320060720/http://connections.org.au/pdfs/ReConnections-and-ReCollections.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 21 April 2009, Last modified: 12 May 2017