The Cottage By The Sea was established in 1895. It initially housed convalescing children for two or three week stays, but over time received children in general need. Since 2010, Cottage By The Sea provides short-term relief care for children whose families are experiencing difficulties.
The 'Cottage By The Sea' was established to provide care and accommodation for children recovering from illness. The Ministering Children's League, a British organisation founded in 1884, established a branch in Victoria in 1890, and purchased a clifftop property in Queenscliff. The Cottage received its first children in 1895. Convalescing children went to the Cottage for 2 or 3 week stays at Queenscliff, where the children were 'afforded the benefit of health-giving sea breezes and bathing'.
For many years, the Ministering Children's League organised a popular annual event, a visit by steamer to Queenscliff for supporters of the Cottage By The Sea.
In 1899, Miss Sargeant was the Matron at Queenscliff, thus described in an article in the Spectator newspaper: 'Like a ministering angel Mrs Sargeant watches over her charges, and with mother-love and trained skill she nurses them'.
Miss Amelia Chinn was a long-serving matron at Cottage-By-The-Sea. She was there for 22 years until she died suddenly in 1928.
In 1936, the Ministering Children's League launched an appeal for building works at Queenscliff. The construction of a new 'cottage' was completed in 1938.
A year later, the Queenscliff property was taken over by the Department of Defence, and it was used as a military hospital. The League managed to rent another property (known as 'Happy Days'), in the Melbourne seaside suburb of Black Rock. The Queenscliff cottage was returned to the League in 1943.
In 1942, the League bought another property in Sandringham, known as 'The Lodge'. Until The Lodge was sold in 1953, children had holidays at either Sandringham or Queenscliff.
Over time, the Cottage received children who were in general need, and its focus shifted from being a convalescent home to child and family welfare. In 2010, Cottage By The Sea is committed to providing, short-term relief care for children whose families are experiencing difficulties.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Australian Charities - Cottage by the Sea', in History, Cottage By The Sea, 2018, https://www.cottagebythesea.com.au/about/our-history; Duff, G.B., 'Social work of the Church: child rescue agencies of Melbourne', The Spectator, 23 June 1899.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 9 July 2010, Last modified: 8 June 2021