Agency Details

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Agency ID1740
Agency TypeResidential care facility
Start Date Circa 1/1/1870
End Date 30/11/1982
Date NotesN/A

Provided care and education for orphan or neglected children

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Information Sources

Queensland Government Gazette 1871, Vol XII, No 48, p. 767
Queensland Blue Book 1873
Queensland Government Gazette 1964, Vol. CCXVII, No. 74, pp. 1658-1659
Queensland Votes and Proceedings 1895, Vol. II, p. 130
Queensland Parliamentary Papers, Session of 1982-1983, Vol. 2, No. 99, pp. 1, 25, 31
Queensland Parliamentary Papers, Session of 1983-1984, Vol. III, No. 97, p. 2, 8
Queensland Parliamentary Papers, Session of 1984-1985, Vol. III, No. 95, p. 52 27/11/2002
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Establishing N/A
Abolishing N/A
Administered The Orphanages Act of 1879
Infant Life Protection Act 1905
State Children Act 1911
State Children's Services Act 1965
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The Rockhampton Orphanage appears to have been established in 1870 although no references in primary sources were located to confirm this. Three Trustees were appointed on 20 May 1871, and the Rockhampton orphanage is first listed in the Queensland Blue Books in 1873.

Under The Orphanages Act of 1879, orphanages were charged with the care, teaching and training of children whose circumstances includes death of one or both parents, desertion by parents, or neglect. The Act also provided for the boarding-out, hiring-out and apprenticing of orphanage children.

The three Trustees, including the Police Magistrate, formed a Committee of Management responsible for the operations of the Orphanage. An Inspector of Orphanages was appointed on 1 Apr 1875, and in 1876 responsibility for orphanages was transferred from the Colonial Secretary's Office to the Public Instruction Department. This was given legislative status under The Orphanages Act of 1879, and the Public Instruction Department, Orphanages Branch was established. Orphanages remained subject to Inspection while members of the Ladies' Committees reported on the well-being of children who were boarded-out or hired-out.

With the majority of children boarded-out, Rockhampton Orphanage was re-named the Rockhampton Receiving Depot in 1894 (circa month), although the Depot continued to care for Infants, and to act as a training school for girls. On 17 Dec 1964, the Depot was re-named Birralee and from 1967/68 acted as a Receiving and Assessment Centre until Birralee Hostel was opened in 1981.

Birralee closed 30 November 1982.
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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Agency ID1740, Birralee
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
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