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New South Wales - Organisation

Crowle House (1952 - 2012)

  • Crowle House

    Crowle House, c. 2012, courtesy of Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia.

Children's Home, Disability Institution and Home

Crowle House was a residential facility for children with intellectual disabilities that was set up by the Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association in Ryde in 1952. A school was attached until 1978. Many of the children at Crowle House became long term residents and stayed upon reaching adulthood, eventually leaving only adults living at Crowle House. Crowle House has been run by various organisations these are; the Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association from 1952 until 1984, the Challenge Foundation from 1984 to 1993, the Crowle Foundation from 1993 until 31 December 2008, and Achieve Foundation from 1 January 2009. Crowle House closed in 2012 and the site was redeveloped.


Crowle House was a bequest from Cecil Crowle. The house, on a two-hectare site, had been used as a halfway house for delinquent children but had fallen into disrepair. Crowle offered it to the Sub-Normal Children's Welfare Association and they renovated the property. It was opened at the end of 1952.

Crowle House began as a residential school, but according to historian Dave Earl, the death and illness of some of the children's parents obliged them to take on children on a permanent basis. Many of these children would live out their lives at Crowle House.

Crowle House was run by the Ryde branch Sub-Normal Children's Association of New South Wales until 1984, when that body broke apart and formed the Challenge Foundation. The Ryde branch of the Challenge Foundation then ran the Home until 1993. Challenge Foundation encouraged its branches to incorporate, and the Ryde branch became Crowle Foundation. In 2008 the Crowle Foundation merged with the Hornsby branch of Challenge Foundation to form a new body, which evolved into a body called Achieve. Achieve was a disability services provider, and decided to redevelop Crowle House into units.

By that stage Crowle House was no longer a children's home, but a facility for adults. However community members protested the closure of Crowle House, because a number of the residents had been there for 40 years and knew no other home.


1952 - 2011
Address - Crowle House located at 74-76 Belmore St, Ryde. Location: Ryde


Resource Sections

  • Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia, Facebook Website, Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia, 2012. Details

Online Resources


Crowle House
Crowle House
c. 2012
Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia


Sources used to compile this entry: Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia, Facebook Website, Save Crowle Home - Disabled Home in Sydney Australia, 2012; 'Redevelopment of Crowle Home at 74-76 Belmore St Ryde', in Ryde Community Alliance, 2013,; Earl, Dave, Caring for the Children. Forever: Parent-run organisations for children with disabilities in New South Wales, 1950-1968, The University of Sydney, 2007,; Jones, Gemma, 'Disabled find their home is no longer safe', The Daily Telegraph, 23 April 2011,; Overell, Anne, Crowle Foundation v New South Wales Trustee and Guardian [2010] NSWSC 647 (Supreme Court of New South Wales, Ball J, 25 June 2010), Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology, 2010,

Prepared by: Naomi Parry