Lisa Lodge Girls’ Hostel, Ballarat, was established in 1970 and was run by a committee of women, all of whom were Honorary Probation Officers. It provided residential care for eight adolescent girls at a time. Lisa Lodge was located in a number of different properties around Ballarat. The Hostel closed in 1994. Some time after this, Hayeslee House (another Home in Ballarat, run by the same committee) became known as Lisa Lodge.
The establishment of Lisa Lodge Girls’ Hostel in 1970 was in response to concern about the number of girls from Ballarat being sent to Winlaton Training Centre in Melbourne. Lisa Lodge’s first committee was made up of eight women, who were all also Honorary Probation Officers. Every resident at Lisa Lodge had her own probation officer, assigned by the court.
In her history of Lisa Lodge, long-serving executive director Di Noyce states that the hostel was similar to a program for boys, established in Ballarat by Fr Tom Brophy in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first committee to manage Lisa Lodge included a member of the Sisters of Mercy, (Sr Rita Hayes). Fr Tom Brophy was an advisor and he attended the first meeting of Lisa Lodge.
Its first location was in Cobden Street, Mount Pleasant, Ballarat. Lisa Lodge moved in 1973 to another property in Armstrong Street South, Ballarat.
The residents were expected to pay board, so were found jobs. When they did not have work, the girls required supervision which put a strain on staffing costs for Lisa Lodge. There was an auxiliary which was the main fundraising arm for Lisa Lodge. Lisa Lodge Girls’ Hostel received its first grant from the Department of Social Welfare in the 1975-76 financial year.
Initially, many worked at the woollen mill or a cardboard box maker in Dana Street, Ballarat. In later years, Lisa Lodge trained and employed many young women in clothing manufacturing. This began with one worker giving sewing classes at her home. In 1979, Lisa Lodge committee approved the purchase of a sewing machine and set up a sewing room at the top of the stairs where one resident did piece work. This grew into the ‘Sewing Project’, which took orders from local schools to make pinafores. In 1981, Lisa Lodge established a workshop for residents to be trained in clothing manufacturing and to work on filling orders. In 1983, the Sewing Program moved to Doveton Street North, and became known as Lisa Manufacturing. The program was wound up in 1985, and funds raised by the sale of Lisa Manufacturing were invested so that the work of Lisa Lodge and Hayeslee House could continue.
Hayeslee House was established in 1976, when the Department of Social Welfare approached the committee of Lisa Lodge, proposing that they set up a new unit for residents at Nazareth House, which was closing. Both Homes were run by the same committee, which in 1977 was called the Lisa Lodge – Hayeslee Management Committee.
In 1978, Lisa Lodge established a flat at the rear of the property, where girls could be trained in independent living skills, in preparation for transitioning out of residential care.
Another hostel in Ballarat was Raglan House, for older boys leaving Ballarat Children’s Homes (formerly known as Ballarat Orphanage). When Raglan House closed in 1986, the CEO of Ballarat Children’s Homes approached Lisa Lodge to take in its residents. The committee considered the proposal but voted unanimously against changing its philosophy and taking in boys as well. The minutes recorded that:
it is felt that the proposed admission of males now accommodated at Raglan house would so alter Lisa Lodge life and work as to prevent or modify the achievements aimed for in the establishment of Lisa Lodge. The committee feels that in helping girls avoid wardship, Lisa Lodge is serving a proved and continuing community need.
In 1988, the committee established a new program for homeless women over the age of 21. It was called Clendenning House (named after Martha Clendenning who established the Ballarat Female Refuge in 1867).
In 1988, the committee prepared to move Lisa Lodge from Armstrong Street to new premises at 728 Barkly Street. Noyce writes that the Ballarat City Council received many objections about the use of Barkly Street as a girls’ hostel. The neighbours’ objection to the decision to grant Lisa Lodge a permit at Barkly Street was upheld in May 1989, however changes to planning legislation meant that a local council permit was not required for emergency accommodation. Lisa Lodge moved into Barkly Street in October 1989. The official opening of Lisa Lodge in Barkly Street was in September 1990.
There was a major fire at Barkly Street in 1992, causing severe damage to the building. Residents lived at one of Clendenning House’s Ministry of Housing homes while the damage was repaired.
In April 1994, planning commenced to close Lisa Lodge as a girls’ hostel, and transfer staff to a new Family Adolescent Assessment Team (FAST). FAST, aimed at providing intensive support for young people both male and female, was based in Star Court, Sebastopol.
The Lisa Lodge name lived on even after the girls’ hostel was closed, in the name of the management committee which ran Hayeslee House and other programs in the Ballarat region.
1970 - 1973
Lisa Lodge was located in Cobden Street, Mount Pleasant, Ballarat., Victoria (Building Still standing)
1973 - 1989
Lisa Lodge was located in Armstrong Street South, Ballarat, Victoria (Building Unknown)
1989 - 1994
Lisa Lodge was located in Barkly Street, Ballarat, Victoria (Building Still standing)