Kew Children's Cottages date back to 1887, It was located adjacent to the Kew Asylum and was also known as the 'idiot ward'. It provided accommodation and education to children with intellectual disabilities. It was closed in 2008.
Kew Children's Cottages became known by that name from around 1929, although the Kew Asylum had housed children throughout its history.
At around 1929 , the Department of Education established the Kew Cottages Special School (State School 4431). It was the first school in Victoria for children with intellectual disabilities. (The school remained in operation until the end of 1991.)
In 1937, over 200 residents of the Cottages were transferred to the institution at Janefield.
In 1957 the administration of Kew Cottages was separated from that of the Kew Mental Hospital.
In 1962 the Cottages were proclaimed a 'training centre' under the provisions of the 1959 Mental Health Act (No.6605).
In 1996, nine residents died in a fire at the institution.
In 2001, the Victorian government announced its intentions to close Kew Cottages. It finally closed in 2008.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Agency VA 2852 Kew Cottages', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Agency details, catalogue entry, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au; 'Agency VA 2865 Department of Mental Hygiene', in Public Record Office Victoria Online Catalogue, Agency details, catalogue entry, Public Record Office Victoria, http://www.prov.vic.gov.au.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 5 January 2010, Last modified: 8 May 2013