• Archival Collection

Records held by Uniting Church Archives

To access these records

Please contact Catriona Milne, Manager Uniting Heritage Service:

Postal address: Locked Bag 8, A’Beckett Street PO, Melbourne VIC 8006

Phone: 0402 969 621

Email: Catriona.Milne@vt.uniting.org

Website: https://www.unitingvictas.org.au/services/family-services/heritage-service/

Records Location


Records held by the Uniting Church Archives is a collection of records dating from 1923 to 1994, and includes information about children’s Homes run by the Methodist and Presbyterian churches and, after 1977, the Uniting Church. The collection consists of records about the administration of the Homes: including minutes of management committees, annual reports and financial information, materials relating to fundraising and promotion of the Homes, photographs and other miscellaneous historical materials. There are limited records relating specifically to children who were in the Homes. A number of digitised objects and images from Uniting Church Archives are available via the Victorian Collections website.

Access Conditions

Former residents (and their families) should contact the Uniting Heritage Service to find information, and access personal files. The Uniting Heritage Service is a free service that helps individuals access information about them or family members, as well as access appropriate support should they choose. Heritage Service staff prefer to release records to past residents or their family members in person, where possible, in order to give greater meaning and context to the information.


The records in this collection are mostly about the management and running of children’s Homes by the Methodist and Presbyterian churches before 1977, and after that, by the Uniting Church. The records contain limited information about children in the Homes. There are some admission registers and client files, however, most of the information about children living in the Homes is found in records relating to administrative functions, for example minutes of meetings, correspondence and financial records.

Records in this collection have been indexed by The Uniting Church Archives as part of the Records Access Documentation Grants in 2017. A searchable index has been created to improve access to the collection.

The collection includes the following records:

Kilmany Park Farm Home for Boys

  • Kilmany Park Committee Minutes, Reports and Correspondence, 1943-1944 & 1950-1967 & 1974-1980 – Contain information about the general administration of the home and farm. Information about boys is included in the Superintendent’s monthly reports to the Committee, including details about: admissions; discharges; school results and educational progress; medical issues; holidays and general observations on the boys.
  • Personal Care Committee Minutes, 1970-1977 – Contain reports on matters relating to the boys in the home.
  • Friends of Kilmany Park Committee Minutes, 1971-1976.
  • Child Endowment Claims, 1940-1943.
  • Register of Admissions, 1924-1939 – Contain information such as: child’s name; date and place of birth; date of admission; religion; parent’s names; place/person received from and other notes – generally where the boy went after discharge from the home.
  • Financial Records include: Cash Book including Boys’ Wages, 1923-1937; Boys’ Saving and Wages Ledger, 1937-1949; Boys’ Wages Book, c.1963-1964; Boys’ Weekly Duty Pay, 1962-1964, Social Welfare Payments, 1973-1977, & State Savings bank books, containing list of clients that books belong to (no dates).
  • Correspondence, 1955-1958 & 1962-1967 & 1973-1989 – Contain information on a wide range of matters, mainly related to the administration or financial matters of the home and farm. There are incidental mentions of the boys.
  • Client Files, 1937-1953 (incomplete) – Contain information such as: applications for admission to the home; correspondence; applications for a lad for service (applications for boys to be employed as farm labourers) and transfer of guardianship papers.
  • Property and purchase documents (no dates)
  • Kilmany Park Miscellaneous records (no dates) including correspondence, newspaper clippings, and a photograph

Kildonan Homes

  • Client Files, c.1930-c.1949 (incomplete) – Contain information such as: applications for admission to the home; correspondence; transfer of guardianship papers; medical records and school records.
  • Judicial Committee Papers, June-July 1938 – contains papers relating to 10 days of hearings for the Quinton Case, concerning children at Kildonan

Regent House Hostel for Girls

  • Client Files, c.1965 – c.1974 (incomplete) – Contain information such as: applications for admission to the home; correspondence; medical and psychiatric reports; school reports; weekly wages accounts and group certificates; Youth Welfare Department history sheets and legal documents.
  • Girls Home Committee of Management Minutes, 1933-1951
  • Committee for Rescue Work Minutes, 1911-1930
  • Regent House Girls’ Home and Hostel, general papers (no dates)

Presbyterian Babies’ Home

  • Admissions and Discharges, 1956-1994
  • Presbyterian Social Services Foster Care Admissions, 1962-1972
  • Roll Books, 1954-1972
  • Records Book, 1928-1952
  • Monthly and Quarterly meeting minutes, 1971-1979
  • Monthly Reviews, 1971-1979
  • Quarterly Reviews, 1966-1978
  • Annual Returns, 1961-1972
  • Children’s Monthly Figures, 1969-1979
  • Matron’s Reports to the House Committee, 1955-1963
  • Matron’s General Correspondence, 1975-1978
  • Babies’ Home Committee papers, Dec 1932 – Oct 1940
  • Babies’ Home Committee Minutes March 1941 December 1953

Methodist Babies’ Home and Copelen Family Centre

  • House Committee Minutes, 1944-1968 – Contain information on decisions about admissions and adoptions. Babies are identified by first name only.
  • Committee Meeting Minutes, 1943-1945, 1952-1963 – Contain information on decisions about admissions and adoptions.
  • Adoption Committee Meeting Minutes, 1945-1952 – Contain information about admissions and adoptions.
  • Analysis Books, 1929-1970 – Contain information on the admission of babies to the home, discharges, adoptions and deaths. Babies are recorded using a first name and number.
  • Daily Rolls, 1967-1974 – Children identified by first names and number only.
  • Memorabilia, 1925-1979
  • Child Endowment Returns, 1960-1966
  • Children’s Welfare Department: Correspondence, reports, surveys, 1958-1963
  • Social Welfare Department: State Ward Records, 1959-1964
  • Misc. Correspondence, 1960-1971
  • Schedule of admissions and discharges and claim for additional child endowment fortnightly returns, 1963-1964
  • Statistical Returns on Adoption Activities, 1968 – Children are identified by surname and number only.
  • Statistics and Quarterly Review of Children in the Home, 1973
  • North Wing Report Book, 1972
  • Quarterly Meeting Minutes, 1972-1973
  • Birthday Sponsors, 1959-1962
  • Matron’s Diaries, 1959-1974

Tally Ho

  • Memories of Tally Ho, 1991-1992 – Contain former residents recollections of Tally Ho from 1922-c.1960 assembled in 1991 and 1992.

Orana Peace Memorial Homes for Children

  • Oral History Interviews conducted by Shurlee Swain, November 1987

McOwan Boys’ Training Farm

  • Correspondence & Property, 1953-1957 – contains correspondence between the farm and presbyterian social services committee, applications & correspondence between the farm and parents, reports on the farm, committee minutes, & deed of gift and property records.

Dhurringile Rural Training Farm

  • Correspondence & general papers, 1950-1964 – folder titled ‘Dhurringile Home and Training Farm for UK War Orphans (Boys) containing correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photogopied documents relating to the history of the home.

Craig Memorial Hostel

  • Minutes, correspondence, and plans (no dates)

Presbyterian Sisterhood

  • Sample records of child adopted from the Sisterhood (no date)
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