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Victoria - Organisation

Swinborn (1979 - 1986)

Home and Hostel

Swinborn a was hostel in Carlton established by the Melbourne City Mission in 1979. It was formerly Swinborn Lodge, which had been located in South Yarra, and had moved to the Carlton site in 1974. Swinborn provided professional residential and support services for girls on Children's Court orders. It closed in 1986.


In 1972, the Community Welfare Foundation (the name of the Melbourne City Mission from 1970 until it reverted to its original name in 1979) proposed a new focus and new location for Swinborn Lodge.

The Mission's old central office in Carlton was modified and the new hostel opened in 1974. Swinborn Lodge now functioned as a 'specialist hostel' providing professional residential and support services for girls on Children's Court orders with quite serious personal or social challenges. In 1979 the facility's name was changed to 'Swinborn' and the term 'Lodge' dropped.

By the early 1980s, Melbourne City Mission was exploring ways to reduce the number of young people placed at Swinborn and a supported community placement scheme was introduced. Concerns were also being expressed about the size of Swinborn, its institutional nature and high maintenance costs. Due to these issues and other pressures, Swinborn's residential and community placement programs were seen as services of the past and closed in 1986.

Some Swinborn staff and functions were transferred to a new emergency accommodation and housing service called 'Stopover' established by the Melbourne City Mission in Carlton.


1979 - 1986
Location - Swinborn was situated on the corner of Owen and Canning Street, Carlton. Location: Carlton


 1884 - 1957 Elizabeth Fry Retreat
       1957 - 1979 Swinborn Lodge
             1979 - 1986 Swinborn

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Related Archival Collections



  • Malone, Betty, Bonds of care: Elizabeth Fry Retreat and its founders, Prahran Historical and Arts Society, Prahran, Vic., 1991, 117 pp. 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

Online Resources

Prepared by: Rebe Taylor and Cate O'Neill