• Organisation

Fairhaven

Details

Fairhaven was established by the Mission of St James and St John in 1927. The Home accommodated women with venereal diseases. In 1951, the institution was transferred by the Victorian Department of Health to new premises at Nunawading, known as Winlaton. The institution closed in 1953.

Fairhaven was a Home for women with venereal diseases operated by the Mission of St James and St John. It opened in October 1927.

In 1951, the institution was transferred by the Department of Health to Winlaton at Nunawading. The Mission continued its work at Winlaton until 1953 when Winlaton was handed over to the Welfare Department. The site housed an institution for adolescent girls from 1956 to 1991, also called Winlaton.

Before the opening of Fairhaven in October 1927, the Mission of St James and St John ran two Homes for women with venereal disease: The Horseshoe in Carlton and Ramoth in Ferntree Gully. These Homes aimed to provide women who were ‘deeply disturbed emotionally’ with a place to live and convalesce. After restoring the women to health, the Mission’s task was to ‘untangle the emotional problems lying at the base of their trouble’.

In his history of the Anglican Church in Victoria, Nunn writes that the Chief Secretary of the Hogan Government, Mr Tunnecliffe, was so impressed with the Mission’s work with venereal diseases patients at The Horseshoe and Ramoth that he invited them to take over the management of the state-run Female Venereal Diseases Residential Clinic in Yarra Bend, Fairfield. This is the institution that became known as Fairhaven.

In his history of the Mission, Cole writes that many of the women at Fairhaven were pregnant, and that they were ‘mainly prostitutes’ who had been sent to the Mission for ‘care and rehabilitation’.

Fairhaven was located immediately behind the Infectious Diseases Hospital on the site of the former mental asylum in Fairfield. Cole described Fairhaven as appearing ‘somewhat gloomy’ from the outside but having a ‘more homely’ environment inside, for more than 30 residents (Cole, Commissioned to Care, 1969).

However, Tibbits describes Fairhaven differently, stating that in 1926, it was ‘in effect a twentieth century lock hospital’, with ‘sturdy high fences topped with barbed wire, and patients locked in their dormitories at night’ (Tibbits, quoted in Ussher, ‘The medical gaze and the watchful eye’, 2006, footnote 274).

An article from 1928 (cited by Cole, no reference) describes the daily routine at Fairhaven:

The day begins at 7 a.m., breakfast at 8. Then follow prayers in the Chapel, which is gradually being furnished, and finally, the round of daily duties. These latter are all undertaken by the girls themselves, with, for obvious reasons, the exception of those connected with the kitchen.

The article goes on to say that the work at Fairhaven goes on, ‘necessarily hidden away from public gaze but surely seen and owned by Him whose heart in the days of His flesh was ever responsive to the appeal of the outcast and diseased’.

In 1951, the institution was transferred by the Department of Health to Winlaton at Nunawading. Fairhaven began to be known as Winlaton from this time. By the 1950s, the discovery of penicillin was transforming the treatment of venereal disease, making long stays in institutions unnecessary. The Mission only continued its work at Winlaton until 1953 when the site was handed over to the Welfare Department.

In 1997 the Mission of St James and St John became part of Anglicare Victoria. At this time, records of the Mission were transferred to Anglicare Victoria. These included records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by the Mission. The custodian of these records is Anglicare Victoria.

  • Alternative Names

    Winlaton

  • From

    1927

  • To

    1953

Locations

  • 1927 - 1951

    Fairhaven was located in Yarra Bend, Fairfield, Victoria (Building Demolished)

  • 1951 - 1953

    Fairhaven was located at "Winlaton", in Springvale Road, Nunawading, Victoria (Building Demolished)

Chronology

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