Orana Retarded Children's Home, run by the Northern Branch of the Retarded Children's Welfare Association, opened in Newnham in 1968. It accommodated country children with intellectual disabilities, aged between 6 and 16, so that they could attend special schools in Launceston. State wards with intellectual disabilities also lived at the Home. Orana closed around 1990.
Orana opened on 21 September 1968 in Newnham. The name was supposed to be an Aboriginal word meaning welcome.
The Home could accommodate six children. It was in a house with a large lounge room, a dining area, four bedrooms, and a fifth room which could be a study. The first inspection report read: 'The home is situated on one (1) acre of beautifully kept land with a tennis court, hot house, fowl run, camellia house, lawns and cement paving, kennels and lily ponds, trees and shrubs.' In 1971, a new 50,000 wing opened.
From 1972, the home began having funding problems. In 1973, they lost $250 to $300 a year for every state ward that they accommodated.
The house was destroyed in about 2010 and replaced with a new building. It is now the site of the Launceston City Mission's Orana House which provides accommodation and assistance with recovery from drug and alcohol problems to men and women over the age of 21.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 7 February 2012, Last modified: 23 October 2018