Ballarat Orphanage

Ballarat Orphanage

200 Victoria Street




Provider: Unknown

Year Opened: 1909

Year Closed: 1968


Originally called the Ballarat District Orphan Asylum, the Home was a large, two-storey Gothic-style building dating back to 1865.  In 1909 the Home was given a new name – Ballarat Orphanage.  The Home accommodated boys and girls from around Victoria, aged between four and 16.  In 1968, the name changed to Ballarat Children’s Homes.  This is now the location of Ballarat Child & Family Services.


CLAN has members who attended this Home.


CLAN holds some sensitive information regarding the offences committed of some of the boys that were in Ballarat Orphanage in 1882.


Related News and Other Articles

Big Day for the Orphans, 10 August 1956 (Argus)

Orphanage, State Face Abuse Suit, 17th September 2002 (Age)

Long History of Suffering at Ballarat Orphanage, 16 December 2012 (Courier)

Orphanage Burial Site Claim Referred to Coroner, Police, 14 August 2013 (Courier)

Victorian Child Abuse Victims Call for Royal Commission Regional Hearings, 12 January 2015  (ABC News)

Abuse Accusations at Ballarat Orphanage, 17th July 2015 (SBS)

Sue Henthorn Nee Whittington-Stevens, ‘Swallowing Water It was Christmas at the orphanage And Just a Trigger Away’, The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 53, Issue 3, April 2023, pp1850–1852,

The Memo that Erased a Scandal, 24 April 2021 (ABC News)

CLAN Homes – Orphanages Gallery

click here for more photos of this Home (Members Only)

CLAN Museum Gallery

There are currently no images of historical items available for CLAN members to view for this Home. If you have any historical items and would like to donate them, please contact CLAN.

CLAN library books where this Home is mentioned include:

  • A Century of Child Care by Ethel Morris
  • Ballarat and its Benevolent Asylum by Helen W Kinloch
  • Ballarat Orphanage by n/a
  • Behind and Beyond The Brick Walls by Bob Golding
  • Doug’s Story by Katie Cincotta
  • History of the Ballarat Children’s Home Farm & Ballarat Children’s Home Primary School by n/a
  • One Hundred Brothers by Joseph I Marlowe OAM
  • Pictures and Paper Clippings of Ballarat Orphanage
  • The Re-Discovery of the Ballarat Orphanage’s Arthur Kenny Avenue Commemorative Booklet

VIC 81
As late as 1961, nearly seven thousand children were in the custody of Victorian institutions or under the care of the Children’s Welfare Department. Frank Golding and his two brothers were among this number. On Christmas Eve 1940, the boys – Frank (not yet three), Bob (four), and Bill (six) – found themselves on the doorstep of an orphan asylum. They were certainly not orphans, but the boys spend most of their lost childhood inside the walls of the Ballarat Orphanage. It would take Frank fifty years to learn what had been happening ‘outside the wall’ while he was inside, and what had happened to his parents, why didn’t they come for him, why wouldn’t anyone tell him…..Frank’s childhood puzzlement lasted half a lifetime. Frank finally found out that his parents deeply cared for the boys, but the battle for their children had been at a huge cost.