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Do you recognise these Barnardos’ Homes?

Family Group Homes have existed in Australia since the late 1940’s and became an increasingly common model of ‘care’ in the eastern states during the second half of the century. Family Group Homes were located on residential streets, in the suburbs, generally without organisational signs and were often only open for relatively short periods of time. For these reasons it can be hard to find out much information about these Homes in comparison to the larger institutions and orphanages that existed before.

On a recent trip to the National Library of Australia in Canberra I came across these photos in annual reports for Dr. Barnardo’s in Australia. It appears they are all Barnardos Family Group Homes from the late 1960s and 1970s.

Dr Barnardos in Australia Family Group Home, c. 1971

c. 1971

The photos were published with little or no descriptions and the surrounding information in the reports provides no further details as to the names, locations or dates of the Homes. The approximate dates listed are the year they appear in the annual report. Do you recognise any of these Homes?

Dr Barnardos in Australia Family Group Home in Lindfield, c. 1970

Dr Barnardos in Australia Family Group Home in Lindfield, c. 1970

Our database for New South Wales has nine Family Group Homes listed as run by Dr Barnardos in Australia but none of the Homes seem to match the Lindfield location. The ‘Family Group Home, Lindfield’ image appeared in both the 1970 and 1971 annual reports, however it only had the caption in the later report.

Children playing in the snow, c.1969

Children playing in the snow, c.1969

Another photo found in the annual reports showed children playing in the snow. No information was provided with the image. There were two Barnardos Homes run in Canberra, one of which we have no image for, Berwick House (1968 – 1978?). After searching on Find & Connect I’m hazarding a guess that this is an image of Barnardos House (1964 – 1978?). What do you think?

If you have any information about these Homes then please comment below or contact us via the web resource so that we can update the site with the new details.


  1. The photo with the snow is indeed Barnardo’s House, 2 Atherton Street, Downer, Canberra, ACT.
    The “curve” does make it seem otherwise.
    I have a better photo if anyone wants it.

    • Nicola Laurent

      July 7, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Thanks Pat! I’m sure we would be interested in another photo to put on the web resource if that is possible. We are also looking to find one of Berwick House as that has no photo attached, if you know of any around?

      Many thanks, Nicola

  2. Nicola Laurent

    April 28, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    After doing some further research I have managed to answer my own question about the other photos.
    The top two images are of the same Dr Barnardo’s Family Group Home – Karingal in Lindfield, NSW. I made the discovery thanks to Nardy Old Boys & Girls Reunion Club website (!caringal-house—lindfield/tagsz). On the page there are photos of the building and from those you can see they match the images that were included in the Barnardo’s Annual Reports.
    This Home is not currently on Find & Connect but will be added. It opened as a family group home in 1960. From 1957-1960 it had been operated by Barnardo’s as a ‘small transitional home for working girls while they became established in employment’ ( I am unsure when it closed, but it was still operating in 1973. If you know the end date or more information do get in contact.

    Thanks, Nicola

  3. This is Barnardo house Canberra 2 Atherton street Downer.
    I lived at this home in the late 1980s

    • Nicola Laurent

      April 22, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Jamie. This is fantastic feedback to have! We shall update the web resource to include the image and add the address of the Home.


  4. Great photos, and intriguing. The building in the photo here doesn’t look like the one on ACT F&C – it’s too curvy. Snow like that in Canberra? I reckon this is high country in the Blue Mountains, Armidale or Snowy/Monaro areas. Either that or the kids were taken on holiday, which would confuse everyone!

    • When I say too curvy, is that because of the page being rolled over? A second look means it could well be – do you know whether it snowed heavily in Canberra in those years?

    • Nicola Laurent

      April 1, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi Naomi,

      Thanks for the feedback! The curve in the image shown is largely due to the fact that I took the photo out of a book which left the image rounded, the letterbox looks the same and the drainpipe is in the same location on the house. Apparently Canberra did have more serious snow in the 60’s, particularly 1968, so the year before this photo appeared in an annual report, but it is still definitely a guess. Hopefully someone will be able to shed some light on the situation.


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