St Catherine’s Children’s Home was the new name given in 1960 to St Catherine’s Orphanage. It operated at Highton until its closure in 1975, when the Sisters of Mercy established the Mercy Family Care Centre.
From the 1960s, like many other institutions in Victoria, St Catherine’s Children’s Home was changing its approach to accommodating children, moving away from institutional, congregate care, towards ‘cottage homes’ and family group homes.
Sister Aiden Mulcair took charge of St Catherine’s in the mid 1960s. At the time, changes were planned at the institution to make the accommodation more ‘home-like’. The building was to be divided into eight self-contained flat, each accommodating 10 children.
In 1972, Sister Agatha Rogers took over management of St Catherine’s, and further changes ensued. In August of that year, Sister Agatha announced that the St Catherine’s property was up for sale. Her vision was for a series of family group homes in the Geelong area as well as a new foster care program.
In 1975, the new Mercy Family Care Centre was established in North Geelong.