Waitara Foundling Home
Provider: Catholics – Sisters of Mercy
Year Opened: 1898
Year Closed: 1927
Also known as Our Lady of Mercy Home, Waitara Babies Home.
The move of the Sisters to Waitara came in 1898, when they transferred their orphanage from their premises in North Sydney to a converted old cottage on Leek’s Orchard, Waitara. This was done at the behest of Cardinal Moran.
There was a desperate social need at this time for people to care for foundlings and destitute children; there were no social services benefits for unmarried mothers nor any community support. This Foundling Home, established at Waitara was the first of its kind in Australia, giving shelter to 20 women and up to 100 children.
Whenever possible, mothers remain with their children until they were weaned. The Waitara Foundling Home was renamed Our Lady of Mercy Home in 1928 in recognition of the fact that many of the children in the home were not orphaned.
CLAN Museum Gallery
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CLAN library books where this Home is mentioned include:
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