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Victoria - Organisation

Burwood Boys' Home (1895 - c. 1972)

c. 1972
Children's Home, Cottage Home, Home, Hostel and Non-denominational

The Burwood Boys' Home was established in 1895 by Robert Campbell Edwards and run by non-denominational Committee of Management. The Home first housed boys aged between 9 and 15. Girls were accepted to the Home from the early 1970s, when the name changed to the Burwood Children's Home.


The Burwood Boys' Home, at 155 Warrigal Road, Burwood, was established in 1895. Its founder was Robert Campbell Edwards, an Irish-born tea merchant. It was operated by a non-denominational Committee of Management, and was incorporated in 1909.

Burwood Boys' Home was 'an approved institution' under the Children's Welfare Act 1928. It was run as a farming community.

The Home was deregistered in 1936, and boys were transferred to Minton Boys' Home, while new buildings were being completed. It was re-registered in 1937/38.

Accommodation at Burwood Boys' Home changed to a 'cottage system' in the 1950s, in line with changing ideas about the care of children. In 1955, it applied to be recognised as an 'approved children's home' under the Children's Welfare Act 1954.

A hostel for boys who had completed schooling, The Palms in Hawthorn, was opened in 1940. This hostel was unpopular however and it was closed and sold in 1959. From 1972, older boys remained on the site of Burwood Boys' Home, in the purpose-built Kemp Lodge.

Girls were accepted to the Home from the early 1970s, when the name changed to the Burwood Children's Home.

The Home began to redirect its operations to the region around Shepparton in the late 1970s. It purchased houses in Shepparton in the early 1980s.

It became known as the Child and Family Care Network in the mid 1980s. The last child left the Burwood home in 1986. That year, the organisation sold the Burwood site and moved to new premises in Glen Waverley.

The organisation changed its operating name to bestchance Child Family Care in 2006.


1895 - c. 1972
Address - The Burwood Boys' Home was located at 155 Warrigal Road, Burwood. Location: Burwood


 1895 - c. 1972 Burwood Boys' Home
       c. 1972 - c. 1986 Burwood Children's Home
             c. 1986 - c. 2006 Child and Family Care Network
                   2006 - bestchance Child Family Care

Provided 'Care' At

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations

  • Melrose Training Farm for Boys (1938 - 1957)

    Some residents of Melrose Training Farm were transferred to Burwood when Melrose was closed in August 1957.

  • Gordon Institute (1886 - 1951)

    During the years of World War Two, boys from the Gordon Institute were accommodated at the Burwood Boys' Home, as the Institute's building in Bowen Street, Melbourne, was taken over by the government for wartime purposes.

    Date: 1941 -


Newspaper Articles

  • Breen Elva, 'Burwood Boys' Home Has Family Spirit', The Sun News-Pictorial, 25 June 1948, p. 10. Details
  • Duff, G.B., 'Social work of the Church: child rescue agencies of Melbourne', The Spectator, 23 June 1899. Details
  • Turner, Laurence, 'Victoria's Unwanted Children - 6: Willing Hearts Handicapped by Lack of Cash', The Herald, 31 October 1952, p. 5. Details


Online Resources


Social work of the church: child rescue agencies of Melbourne
Social work of the church: child rescue agencies of Melbourne
23 June 1899


Burwood Boys' Home
Burwood Boys' Home


Sources used to compile this entry: Bestchance: our heritage, Child and Family Care Network Inc., 2007,; Victoria Government Gazette Online Archive 1836-1997, State Library of Victoria, 2009,; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001,

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill