The Ballarat District Orphan Asylum was established in 1865 and run by a non-denominational board of management. The Orphanage farm was established in 1869. In 1909, the institution became known as the Ballarat Orphanage.
The Ballarat District Orphan Asylum was established in 1865, in response to widespread community concern about the lack of services for neglected, abandoned and destitute children, during the widespread upheaval of the gold rush years.
It was run by a non-denominational (but nominally Protestant) board of management. The Orphan Asylum was originally located in Victoria Street, Ballarat.
The annual report for 1866 stated that Mr and Mrs Finlay (‘well known as public teachers’) had been appointed as the institution’s first superintendent and matron. The first children were admitted to the Orphan Asylum in October 1865.
The Orphanage farm was established in 1869. A swimming pool (said to be the ‘first of its kind in any charitable institution in the colony’) was built at the Ballarat Orphan Asylum in 1870.
In 1871, the Superintendent was Mr H.B. Sadleir.
In 1909, the institution became known as the Ballarat Orphanage.