Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
Victoria - Organisation

St Vincent de Paul Children's Home (1962 - 1992)

  • Former St. Vincent de Paul Girls' Orphanage

    Former St. Vincent de Paul Girls' Orphanage, 2008
    Details

From
1962
To
1992
Categories
Care Provider, Catholic, Children's Home, Family Group Home and Home

St Vincent de Paul Children's Home was established in 1962 and run by the Sisters of Mercy. It was formerly the St Vincent de Paul's Girls' Orphanage. In 1966, the Home relocated from South Melbourne to Black Rock where children were housed in family group homes. In 1992, its name changed again to St Vincent de Paul Child and Family Services.

In 1997, records of the Sisters of Mercy were transferred to MacKillop Family Services. These included records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by the Sisters of Mercy. 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.

Details

Under Sister Agatha, who ran St Vincent de Paul's Girls' Orphanage from 1957, the Orphanage's holiday home at Black Rock (which had been built in 1939) was converted into a type of family group home called 'Coolock', where a small group of children lived with two lay women. Sister Agatha wrote of the success of this experiment:

The difference in the children after even a few months is something that must be seen to be believed. The individual development of the child is the thing that is most prominent and the ability to cope with problems that cannot be faced under our present system.

Sister Agatha oversaw the purchase of several more properties in the south-eastern suburbs, and the gradual transfer of children from the orphanage into these family group homes.

In 1966, the Children's Home relocated from South Melbourne to Black Rock. By the end of 1966, the buildings at the former Girls' Orphanage in South Melbourne had been emptied of children and Sisters, with the residents now living in family group homes scattered throughout the south-eastern suburbs.

The new administration centre of St Vincent de Paul's Children's Home was based at Black Rock. By the late 1960s St Vincent de Paul Children's Home had transferred its centre of operations to 'Coolock'.

According to the Social Welfare Department annual report in 1971, St Vincent de Paul Children's Home ran 2 youth hostels in the 1970s, for young people establishing independent living skills or young people on probation. They were referred to as 'St Vincent de Paul No 1', or 'Coolock' (519 Balcombe Road, Black Road) and 'St Vincent de Paul No 2' (19 Glyndon Avenue, Brighton).

Location

1962 - 1966
Location - St Vincent de Paul Children's Home was located in Cecil Street, South Melbourne. Location: South Melbourne
1966 - 1992
Location - St Vincent de Paul Children's Home relocates to Balcombe Road, Black Rock. Location: Black Rock

Timeline

 1861 - 1962 St Vincent de Paul's Girls' Orphanage
       1962 - 1992 St Vincent de Paul Children's Home
             1992 - 1997 St Vincent de Paul Child and Family Services
                   1997 - MacKillop Family Services

Related Archival Collections

Related Organisations

Publications

Books

  • 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. Details
  • Meikle, Annette; Waters, Elizabeth, Sandringham sketchbook, Rigby, Adelaide, 1998, 54 pp. Details
  • O'Sullivan, Mary Ignatius Sister, The wheel of time: a brief survey of the ninety-six years' work of the Sisters of Mercy in Victoria, 1857-1953, Advocate Press, Melbourne, 1954. Details
  • Spivey, Margaret, Defying the gatekeeper: one girl's true story of resistance and rebellion, In this memoir, the author describes her experiences as a ward of the state in Victoria, in a number of institutions in the 1950s and 1960s., Jo Jo Publishing, Melbourne, 2010. Details

Journal Articles

  • Rogers, Agatha, 'The tracing problem: an aspect of outcome studies in child welfare. - Tracing former residents of the St Vincent de Paul's Children's Homes at Black Rock and South Melbourne, Victoria', Children Australia, vol. 17, no. 1, 1992, pp. 16-19. Details

Reports

  • Annual report: Social Welfare Department, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1961-1978. 1971, p.38. Details

Online Resources

Photos

Former St. Vincent de Paul Girls' Orphanage
Title
Former St. Vincent de Paul Girls' Orphanage
Type
Image
Date
2008

Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 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.

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill