St John's Homes for Boys and Girls was established in 1958. It was formerly St John's Homes for Boys. It housed children in cottage homes and hostels in Canterbury, and, from the late 1960s, in Doncaster, Nunawading, Camberwell and Portsea. It also opened the hostels Fernhurst and Molloy House in 1968. In 1997 St John's Homes merged with the Mission to the Streets and Lanes, and the Mission of St James and St John to form Anglicare Victoria.
In June 1959, construction work commenced on a new cottage at St John's Homes on the property at 16 Balwyn Road, Canterbury. Another cottage on the site followed in 1961. Later that decade, St John's opened cottage homes, accommodating boys and girls, in Doncaster and Nunawading.
St John's Homes moved into the provision of residential 'care' to young people on Children's Court probation with the opening of Molloy House and Fernhurst hostels in 1968.
St John's established Field House in Camberwell in 1969, for boys over the age of 13 with academic potential. In 1971, Hindson House, comprising three cottages, opened at Portsea.
In 1971, three more family group homes (known as Wilson, Butler and Reynolds) were opened on the Canterbury site.
In 1974, St John's established Ruthven House, a hostel in Reservoir in the northern suburbs, run in conjunction with Church of England Boys' Society.
In 1976, it opened the George Hall Hostel for School Leavers in Bell Street, Box Hill.
A newspaper article from 1975 (about Princess Margaret's visit to St John's Homes for Boys and Girls in October) refers to the Shrublands Hostel operating on the site in Balwyn Road. The matron was Miss Margaret Gibbs. The Princess met with house parents (Mr and Mrs T Middleton) and their 10 cottage children, and visited Birch Cottage.
In 1978, St John's proposed the closure of 'Shrublands', the original building at Canterbury. It was converted into a 'resource unit' for the St John's organisation.
Some St John's Homes remained in the inner-eastern region - Birch and Read Cottages in Canterbury, Appleby Hostel in Mont Albert, St Martin's Hostel in Canterbury, and three family units on the Balwyn Road, Canterbury, campus.
In 1997, St John's Homes amalgamated with the Mission of St James and St John and the Mission to the Streets and Lanes to form Anglicare Victoria.
At this time, records of St John's were transferred to Anglicare Victoria. These included records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by St John's. The custodian of these records is Anglicare Victoria.
Sources used to compile this entry: James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf; 'St John's Home for Boys (and girls) (1926-96)', in Finding Records, Department of Health and Human Services, State of Victoria, https://www.findingrecords.dhhs.vic.gov.au/collectionresultspage/St-Johns-Home-for-Boys. See the 'List of records held by the department' section for information about records relating to St John's Home for Boys and Girls.; Clipping from Progress Press: 'Two local visits for Princess Margaret', Vol 26 No 42, 29 October 1975. Courtesy of DHHS Archives.
Prepared by: Rachel Tropea
Created: 6 April 2009, Last modified: 2 November 2022