GOULBURN has a rich history of orphanages stretching back to the 1880s. They’re full of stories, good and bad, some poignantly documented in Senate inquiries.
On September 15 the Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) will stage a pictorial display of all Goulburn’s orphanages run by the Mercy and Josephite Sisters, Anglican Church and Salvation Army.
These were St John’s Boys Home, St Joseph’s Girls Home, St Saviour’s Girls Home and the Salvation Army Gill Home at the top of Auburn St, later used as Gill Waminda’s aged care facility. Former Gill Home resident Jim Luthy estimates Goulburn housed some 50,000 ‘orphans’ or children whom parents couldn’t look after between 1881 and 1979 when the last orphanage closed.
In 2007, Mr Luthy, who spent three years at Gill from 1965, proposed that Council erect a memorial in Victoria Park for all those children who lived all or part of their lives in Goulburn’s church institutions. He has also helped organise Gill reunions over the years.
The National Orphanage Museum is organising the display at the McDermott Centre. Goulburn MP and Family and community Services Minister Pru Goward will open the event.
A state Labor spokesperson is also attending. Invitations have been extended to Mayor Geoff Kettle and Hume MP Alby Schultz.
“Members of the public are invited to also attend, and we would love to see anyone who knew children in the homes turn up,” Mr Luthy said.
For those who were in a Salvation Army home, that organisation will be providing lunch. Anyone who was in a home is also welcome to stay the night for dinner at the RSL club.
People are asked to arrive by 10.15am for the 10.30am opening. For more information contact CLAN on 1800 008 774.