The Pirra Girls’ Residence received its very very first three girls in April 1961. By June 1962, it absolutely was very nearly at capability, with 27 girls in residence.


The Pirra Girls’ Residence received its very very first three girls in April 1961. By June 1962, it absolutely was very nearly at capability, with 27 girls in residence.

Pirra had been situated in certainly one of Victoria’s earliest mansions at Lara, near Geelong. The Fairbairn category of pastoralists owned it until 1907 once they offered it into the continuing state. It operated since the Lara Inebriates organization from 1907 until 1930. This is federal federal government sanitorium to treat those struggling with alcoholism.

Girls and women that are young Pirra went to community focused programs and lots of were later on put in foster care or gone back to their loved ones. In 1962, the report that is annual the effective keeping of Pirra girls in personal homes as ‘really amazing … in view associated with the former mode of living of the girls’.

Nevertheless, girls who had been unable to get back house or be put in foster care had been used in Youth Training Centres.

Pirra’s first superintendent ended up being skip C. Ross Morrison (later on Mrs H. Rudduck). In March 1965, Miss L.M. Dodgshun (a matron that is former Bethany Babies’ house) took over as superintendent. Pirra had an Auxiliary, led into the very early 1960s by Mr Dick Austin, which organised yard parties to improve funds.

Nancy McDonald became Superintendent in 1968, and www.brides-to-be.com remained into the place until her your retirement in 1979. Inside her memoirs, McDonald described her interview for the career at Pirra:

‘Albert Booth Director of personal Welfare … asked me personally, ‘If you’d a young child whom declined to leave of sleep each morning, just how can you cope with it?’ we responded, ‘how children that are many here?’ When he stated, ‘Twenty-four’, we responded, ‘Then you can find twenty-four various ways.’ At me, ‘You’ve got the job that he told. It really is yours if you need it’. ‘

In line with the personal Welfare Department’s yearly report from 1962, girls at Pirra had ‘a pony, sheep, dogs, guinea pigs, and many other animals’.

The Department’s yearly report for 1966 described Pirra as an ‘open’ organization, where girls utilized the ordinary community resources. It continued, ‘Generally, they settle in well, but you will find occasional break-downs necessitating transfers to youth training centers where they could be more effortlessly managed.’ ( This exact same declaration additionally starred in the annual reports for 1967 and 1968.)

It is difficult to locate reports of Pirra through the viewpoint for the girls by themselves. One distribution towards the Forgotten Australians enquiry described just exactly how she had been provided for Pirra at age 12, simply to hightail it a couple weeks later on|weeks that are few (which resulted in her positioning at Winlaton, a youth training centre). This female’s testimony painted a picture that is grim of’s state-run organizations and women.

Another previous resident published about Pirra: ‘the just freedom we’d ended up being gonna college, we had been never ever permitted to visit buddy’s houses or excursions. Whenever casual time arrived we constantly wagged because we never really had decent sufficient garments to put on.’ This girl recalls being ‘locked into the dormitory when it comes to entire weekend’ after being caught making Pirra to try and check out her sibling in another Residence.

In 1968, during an interval whenever there was clearly a ‘temporary shortage of older girls’, a household of four kiddies aged from 3 to 7 resided at Pirra, while their mom re-established their loved ones house. The yearly report reported it was a ‘most worthwhile test … it created an interest for the older girls and seemed to bring about a marked improvement within their behavior assisted to enhance the image of Pirra when you look at the neighborhood’.

In 1968, there have been plans to enhance the standard of therapy at Pirra, by giving a ‘more healing environment’ when it comes to girls. include workers composing reports that are weekly the 4 or 5 girls in her own instant care. The report ranked each woman in accordance with four character and six behaviour facets. The report that is annual, ‘It is hoped that this course of action will encourage staff more info on girls and provide the Superintendent a foundation for conversation with both staff and girls’.

In 1969, the rate of absconding at Pirra ended up being ‘unusually high’. The Department attributed this into the number that is high of admissions that year (28) along with high staff return – in that year, just one member of the kid care staff was in fact here more than year. This report additionally pointed out the issues many Pirra girls experienced during the schools they went to when you look at the Geelong and Corio area – as a result of gaps with in their education, lack of inspiration and behavioural dilemmas.

Some previous ‘Pirra girls’ tangled up in an investigation study in regards to the training experiences was in fact in kids’s domiciles indicated their view that some instructors into the regional schools had been prejudiced against ‘home children’s. (One young girl whom had been unsuccessful by a teacher were able to effectively allure into the Education Department.)

By 1970, Pirra had been accommodating girls and women aged between 11 and 18. The report that is annual that five ladies had finished college that year, and gone on work. In addition it claimed that ‘nine very severely disturbed girls who could not be found in an “open” organization were transmitted to “closed” institutions throughout the year’.

In 1971, the yearly report once again referred into the Department’s problems with ‘very disrupted older girls’ at Pirra: ‘It is actually obvious that a particular device because of this kind of woman is a really great need’.

In 1979, the Department reported that the Illoura and Pirra Homes were ‘in an activity of review and change’, using the amount of young ones accommodated in both domiciles decreasing notably.

Pirra ended up being closed because of the Department in around 1980.