Benevolent asylums were institutions set up in the nineteenth century to house 'destitute' men, women and children, as well as 'deserted wives', 'waifs' and 'orphans'. During the gold rush era in Victoria, many benevolent asylums were established, both in Melbourne and regional towns including Bendigo and Ballarat. Before the establishment of institutions specifically for children, many children who would later be classed as 'neglected' or juvenile offenders were accommodated in benevolent asylums.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 9 October 2009, Last modified: 28 October 2011