The Ballarat Female Refuge was established in 1867 by a group of protestant women, with the objective of reforming 'prostitutes'. It became a shelter for single mothers. It was the first such institution on Australia's goldfields. In 1921, the Refuge became part of the Ballarat Town and City Mission Rescue and Children's Home.
Initially, the Female Refuge was managed by a ladies' committee and a committee comprising lay men and ministers from various Protestant denominations.
The Ballarat Female Refuge's first location was in Grant Street, Ballarat. In 1885, it moved to new premises at 183 Scott Parade.
In 1921, the Ballarat Town and City Mission took over the management of the Ballarat Female Refuge.
At this time, a new institution for single mothers and their babies was established by the Mission, on the site of the original Refuge at 183 Scott Parade. This institution was known as the Ballarat Town and City Mission Rescue and Children's Home. The Alexandra Babies' Home (built in 1909) was situated on the same complex, at 187 Scott Parade.
1867 - 1921 Ballarat Female Refuge
c. 1921 - 1941 Ballarat Town and City Mission Rescue and Children's Home
Sources used to compile this entry: Golding, Frank, Orphanages in Ballarat – brief historical notes (draft), 2009; Wickham, Dorothy Glennys, Beyond the Wall: Ballarat Female Refuge, A Study in Moral Authority, A thesis submitted in total fulfillment of the requirements of the degree Masters of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, 2003, http://researchbank.acu.edu.au/theses/69/.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 1 May 2009, Last modified: 25 October 2018