Enoggera Boys' Home, was also known as the Church of England Boys' Home, Enoggera. It was operated by a private committee and the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane. Previously located at Wooloowin, and known as the Brisbane Boys' Home, it was established at Enoggera in June 1906. From around 1947, it was governed solely by the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane. The home closed on 6 October 1978.
In June 1906 the Boys' Home moved from Wooloowin to a nine acre property at Hurdcotte Street, Enoggera. Reverend Edward C. Osborn was secretary of the management committee. The committee aimed to give the boys agricultural training, while providing a healthy environment. Through their agricultural activities the boys contributed to the support of the home.
The committee demolished the old house on the site and erected a new home, however this was destroyed by fire in 1907 shortly after completion. Another home was completed in approximately July 1908 at a cost of £600. A public appeal through the newspapers assisted in raising funds for the new building.
The Anglican Church was always involved with the home as members of the clergy actively served on the committee. Archdeacon Edward Castell Osborn was on the management committee for the Enoggera Boys' Home. The Rev Canon WPB Miles was associated with the home for 30 years, until his resignation in 1947. The committee handed over control of the home to the Anglican Home Mission Committee in 1947.
The Enoggera Boys' Home was licensed under the State Children Act 1911 on 27 June 1940. This meant that boys in State care could be placed in the home, and a State Government subsidy paid for their care. Up till then all boys were private placements. Subsequently the home was licensed under The Children's Services Act 1965 on 4 August 1966.
As with many other children's' homes in Brisbane, 50 boys and staff from Enoggera Boys' Home were moved out of Brisbane during World War Two (1942-1945). They were transferred to the Soldiers' Memorial Hall at Kilcoy in March 1942. The Enoggera building was occupied by the Army which made substantial changes to the site.
The boys spent the 1942/43 Christmas Holidays at Coolangatta and 1943/44 holidays at Redcliffe. The older boys spent the 1944/45 holidays at Coolangatta and the younger boys went to Scarborough. On 17 October 1945 29 boys and two staff returned to Enoggera Boys' Home.
In 1947 one of the old army huts was furnished as a Chapel and Sunday School. Extensive renovations were carried out in 1954: the building was raised and placed on brick foundations and a new kitchen, shower block and additional accommodation for boys were included. In the early 1960s a workshop and gymnasium were completed. Two new brick 25-bed accommodation blocks, named "Hinkler House" and "Cunningham House", were opened on 21 July 1968.
Further major reconstruction commenced in 1970. It included erection of a brick accommodation block for 26 boys and a two-story building to house the kitchen, dining room and a general purpose hall. The old timber buildings were demolished when the new buildings were completed. The new buildings were officially opened in August 1971.
In 1975 one unit at the home was closed as there were only 35 boys at the home. In January 1978 only 24 boys remained at the home. Despite considerable Government funding the Diocese had heavily subsidised the home for several years.
Due to changing attitudes to child care it was decided to close the home. This occurred on 6 October 1978. After standing unused for some years, the property was transferred to the Hillbrook Anglican School Limited in 1987. In 2013, Lewis Blayse wrote of how Hillbrook School's Home Economics and Computer Labs were situated in the buildings that were formerly the Home.
The Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions in 1998-1999 received no submissions from former residents of the Enoggera Boys' Home claiming any form of abuse. However former residents maintained they suffered discrimination and feelings of stigmatisation at school attached to being a 'Home boy'. It was the type of clothes worn by the residents that made them easily identifiable. The boys wore the home "uniform" and it was also claimed that they had to do without underwear.
The Anglican Archdiocese of Brisbane, in respect of Enoggera Boys', noted that finding suitable houseparents was a perennial problem. It was stated that during the 1970s there were three different Superintendents, and 14 different married couples employed as houseparents at the Home over a period of eight years. Nine couples left before their year of tenure had expired (pp.92-93).
1890 - 1906 Boys' Home
1906 - 1978 Enoggera Boys' Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Blayse, Lewis, 'Enoggera Boy's Home (or: volunteers welcome)', in lewisblayse.net, http://lewisblayse.net/2013/06/13/enoggera-boys-home-or-volunteers-welcome/; Boyce, James, For the Record: Background information on the work of the Anglican Church with Aboriginal Children and Directory of Anglican Agencies providing residential care to children from 1830 to 1980, Anglicare Australia, Melbourne, 2003, 46 pp. p.28.; Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions, Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions, Queensland. Department of Families, Youth and Community Care, Brisbane, 1999. p.67, 85, 92-93.; Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.44.; Harrison, Jennifer and Greaves, Barry, The Brisbane Anglican companion: a dictionary of the Diocese of Brisbane 1859-2009., The Corporation of the Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane, Brisbane, 2008, 179 pp.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 8 June 2011, Last modified: 18 March 2016