The Mintaro Reformatory Home for Girls was established in the mansion called Mintaro, on a farming property of 273 acres. The Methodist Home Mission Department responded to the opportunity to establish a private girls' reformatory when the secretary of the Neglected Children's Department indicated that there were many girls who required the shelter and training of such an establishment. The Department was prepared to send them to Mintaro from the Police Courts, where they came as 'first offenders', thus saving them from their 'evil' environment. If the cases were dismissed the view was that these girls would inevitably end up as criminals.
The Home initially housed 15 girls, with a capacity to accommodate up to 40. The girls received instruction in 'regular and orderly habits.' They acquired dairying, cooking, laundry, house cleaning, sewing and knitting skills in order to equip them to work on farms and ultimately to manage their own homes. The aim also was to encourage them to a Christian life. The Home Mission committee stressed that Mintaro was a Home and not an institution.
By 1910 Mintaro received no girls which led to its closure on 31 March 1912. It became clear that girls were not being arrested as there was a difficulty in getting convictions. If a girl could prove that she was in paid work or was being supported by her parents, the case broke down.
On its closure, 147 girls had lived in the Home with an average age of 14 years. The Committee stated that the work would continue, but in a less expensive setting. They believed that these girls were saved from being committed to gaol.
We do not currently have any records linked to this entry. If you know of any additional records, please contact us.
The Find & Connect Support Service can help people who lived in orphanages and children's institutions look for their records.
18 January 2019
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000909
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License