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Tasmania - Organisation

St Joseph's Child Care Centre (1970 - 1978)

Care Provider, Catholic, Children's Home, Cottage Home and Home
Alternative Names
  • St Joseph's Crisis Accommodation Centre (Also known as, 1978 - )
  • Taroona Centre (Also known as)
  • Taroona Child Care Centre (Also known as)

St Joseph's Child Care Centre replaced St Joseph's Orphanage (Aikenhead House), opening on 22 February 1970. It was located in Taroona and run by the Sisters of Charity. The Centre provided cottage accommodation for 30 children in three cottages, and also supervised the Family Group Homes of Villa Maria, Loreto, Carinya, and later, Bimbadeen. In 1976, two of the cottages closed with most children being accomodated in local Sister of Charity's Family Group Homes. In 1978, it became the St Joseph's Crisis Accommodation Centre.


St Joseph's Child Care Centre was on a four acre block of land overlooking the River Derwent. A house already on the site was extended to provide room for the convent, an administrative centre, and the chaplain's accommodation. Three cottages were built to provide accommodation for the children.

Each cottage had a nun supervising, a housekeeper and housed 10 children. The three cottages were called 'Karawatha', 'Bimbadeen', and 'Meyendell'.

Boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 17 were admitted to the Centre. In A Piece of the Story it states that the Sisters attempted to keep siblings together wherever possible.

By 1975, children from the different Homes attended 13 schools, and took part in regular sporting activities and camps. They had weekend placements with families to enable them to experience family life. Once they had grown up, staff at the Centre did not force them to leave but allowed them to adjust gradually to adult life.

In 1976, a government subsidy to St Joseph's Child Care Centre enabled it to appoint a full time Child Care Supervisor to support married couples working as house parents in family group Homes away from the Taroona site. This led to the closing of Bimbadeen and Meyendell cottages, and opening of a fourth family group home, Bimbadeen, in November 1976.

In 1978, St Joseph's Child Care Centre closed and St Joseph's Crisis Accommodation Centre occupied the site. The St Joseph's site has since been redeveloped as a retirement village, however the convent and chaplain's quarters still remain.


1970 - 1978
Location - St Joseph's Child Care Centre was situated at Taroona. Location: Taroona



  • Cannell, Josephine, To the beckoning shores: urged on by the love of Christ, J Cannell?, Hobart, 2007, 114 pp. Details
  • Hanson, Dallas, Why are they in children's homes : report of the ACOSS children's home intake study, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1979, 83 pp. Details

Newspaper Articles

  • 'Charity Sisters have completed first century of child care for Church in Tasmania', The Leader, 8 July 1979, p. 5. Details

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Charity Sisters have completed first century of child care for Church in Tasmania', The Leader, 8 July 1979, p. 5; Information provided by the Sisters of Charity Archives Manager, correspondence recorded in the Find & Connect files at the University of Melbourne. Information provided by a Former Resident of St Joseph's Child Care Centre.

Prepared by: Caroline Evans