OPAL House, in South Brisbane, was operated by the One People of Australia League (OPAL). It was Brisbane's first purpose-designed hostel for homeless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. OPAL House in Russell Street was purchased by the Queensland government in 1962. In 1985, the building in Russell Street was demolished and the remaining 16 residents of OPAL House were transferred to Joyce Wilding Hostel, Eight Mile Plains.
OPAL House was started by Muriel Langford and Joyce Wilding. Joyce Wilding was also the matron at OPAL House.
OPAL House was registered as a foster home and licensed as registered premises in 1966. It was licensed as a residential institution on 7 August 1970.
In 1978 there were 30 residents at OPAL House, some of them were children. Correspondence files from 1980 indicate that 2 children were living at OPAL House, even though the facility was not funded to house children at that time.
OPAL has advised the Find & Connect web resource that it no longer has any records relating to children who were resident in their homes.
In 2021, the Queensland government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. p.68.; Correspondence with Community and Personal Histories, Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, November 2018 - January 2019.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 22 June 2011, Last modified: 5 November 2021