Heytesbury Family Group Home was operated by the Peirson Memorial Trust. Located in Goodwood, Heytesbury provided residential care for approximately 22 young boys 12 to 17 years of age. It was situated on the same property as Redcliffe Home, also run by Peirson Memorial Trust. Heytesbury opened in 1968 and closed June 1977. It then reopened in March 1979 and finally closed in 2011.
The land on which Redcliffe was situated was originally owned by Henry Edward Peirson (who had been born at Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England), and functioned as a sugarcane plantation called Redcliffe Plantation. Following Peirson's death the property was left to his daughters, who, in 1947 and again in 1953 left it in trust to the Ann Street Presbyterian Church in Brisbane to be run as a training farm for poor boys.
The home was intended to provide residents with agricultural training on the property, which included work on the sugarcane plantation, running a herd of 40 dairy cattle, maintaining a piggery, and keeping chickens. A plantation of 1500 avocado trees was later planted on the property. The boys attended the local Goodwood state primary school and Childers State High School, and received a Christian upbringing. A house was later purchased at Avoca Street, Bundaberg, to cater for boys who wished to undertake apprenticeships.
In 1977 the terms of the Peirson Memorial Trust were changed to allow the admission of girls to the Goodwood homes as well as boys, in order to allow family groups to stay together.
It was stated in a 1995 court hearing regarding the management of the Peirson Memorial Trust that there were only 6 children living in homes run by the Trust, down from 21 in 1985. During this period the majority of the boys being placed in the home were wards of the state. Despite this drop in numbers, the Heytesbury Home continued to operate for another 15 years. In 2000 its mode of management changed from being run as a family group home with house parents, to being run by a number of staff rostered on shifts. Heytesbury closed in 2011.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Personal', Brisbane Courier, 9 July 1920, p. 11, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20405112; Department of Families, Missing pieces: information to assist former residents of children's institutions to access records, State of Queensland, 2001. pp.69-70.; White, J., In the Matter of Peirson Memorial Trust - Reasons For Judgment, Supreme Court of Queensland: Trial Division, 24 November 1995, https://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/1995/QSC95-308.pdf.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 21 August 2012, Last modified: 15 July 2022