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Victoria - Archival Collection

Orana UnitingCare Records (1888 - )


Orana UnitingCare Records is an archival collection dating back to the late 1800s and includes the records of Orana Homes, Livingstone House and the Methodist Homes for Children, Burwood. The collection includes client records, admission and discharge registers, photographs, minute books and annual reports.


Access Conditions

Lentara Uniting Care's access policy for records of former residents of its children's institutions aims to provide clients with as much information about themselves, their families and their time in care as possible.

More information about Lentara's access policies can be found in the publication, 'Guide to the Access and Issue of "Forgotten Australians" Client Records (records pre 1989)'. The introduction to this publication advises:

A good starting point when administering access is to ask oneself "Why shouldn't I provide this information?" rather than "Why should I provide this information?" - noting that Privacy laws are enabling legislations.

The guide goes into detail about the legislative framework in Victoria governing access to care leaver records, and provides guidance on administering and interpreting these laws.


The client (former residents) records at Orana, now Lentara, date back to the late nineteenth century and include the records of Orana Homes, Livingstone House and the Methodist Homes for Children, Burwood. On 30 June, 2011, Orana UnitingCare ceased being a provider of residential care. The remaining homes and children in its programme were transferred to Wesley Mission.

Records of Methodist Babies' Home (1929 - c. 1974), South Yarra, are held by Connections UnitingCare in Windsor.

The degree of detail on the client records at Orana varies. Information contained in the client records may consist of the following:

  • Admission and discharge details
  • School reports
  • Dental and general health records
  • General and personal correspondence
  • A log of significant events in the child's life
  • A log of visits from family, friends and carers
  • Photographs
  • Details of institutions the child may have come from or gone to
  • Circumstances regarding the child's placement in care
  • Personal details about the child, their parents, family and friends
  • Police/court information
  • Adoption information

Other Orana records that may be of interest to former residents include Minute Books, Ladies Committee Minute Books, Annual Reports, Superintendents Log Book, Maps and Plans, and General Correspondence Files.

Finding Aids

Admission and discharge registers dating from the 1880's to present are complete and are stored at Lentara UnitingCare, Meadow Heights office. For ease of access, security, and the preservation of the collection, client files and registers have been imaged as PDF files. A copy is stored in secure premises off-site. Original paper based client records are also stored off-site in an Approved Public Record Office Storage Supplier (APROSS) facility. In 2009, work began on the creation of a detailed List of Record Holdings consisting of the records within Orana's custody; including the cataloguing of a very comprehensive photographic collection.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Morizzi, Mimi, Guide to the Access and Issue of "Forgotten Australians" Client Records (records pre 1989), Lentara UnitingCare, UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania, 2013,

Prepared by: Rosemary Francis