Bayswater Boys’ Home (1897 - 1987)


  • Auspice: Salvation Army
  • Name: Bayswater Boys' Home (1897–1987)
  • Address: Liverpool Street, The Basin
  • Other names: Bayswater Farm and Vocational Training Centre (1950s–1960); Bayswater Boys’ Home No 1 (1950s–mid-1970s); Bayswater Boys’ Home No 2 (1962–73); Bayswater Boys’ Home No 3 (1930–47); Bayswater Youth Training Centre (late 1970s–1987) 

Bayswater Boys Home history in brief

In 1897, the Salvation Army established its first home at The Basin for boys who had been placed by the courts in supervised legal custody.

Bayswater was the closest railway station: hence the name, Bayswater Boys’ Home.

Initially, there were two Homes in the complex, Bayswater No. 1 and 2 Homes. In 1930, some buildings were transferred from Coode Island and set up as a third home at Bayswater to accommodate boys who had not offended, or who were not suited to the environment of No.1 Home. In 1947, Bayswater No. 3 Home closed and the boys were transferred to a rebuilt and expanded No. 1 Home.

Bayswater No. 1 Home

From the 1950s, Bayswater No. 1 Home catered for up to 48 boys on referral from Turana with fixed sentences from the Children's Court. The No. 1 Home always catered for older and more serious offenders in a minimum-security setting. Other homes in the complex dealt with younger people, less serious offenders, non-offenders, and those in need of special supervision and support.

The No. 1 Home was known as the Bayswater Farm and Vocational Training Centre as farming was its original focus. Training in vocational trades was later introduced. In 1960 it was known as the Bayswater Youth Training Centre and in the mid-1960s it introduced an apprentices’ preparatory course.

Each young person had his own room. The complex also contained a library, hobbies room, gymnasium, canteen, and assembly hall. The centre also had its own secondary school on campus, and ran remedial classes, abridged technical certificate courses, and team sports.

Bayswater No. 2 Home

Bayswater No. 2 Home was a separate junior section. No. 2 Home housed about 50 boys.

In 1962, a cottage established for 12 boys acted as a halfway house between institutional care and return to the community, increasing No. 2 Home’s capacity to 60– 65 boys.

In 1973, the Salvation Army opened Lyndon Lodge in Auburn as an aftercare hostel for boys from both Bayswater Boys’ Home and Hayville Child Care Centre in Box Hill. Administration of the Bayswater Youth Training Centre and No. 2 Home was combined.

Development of family group homes and group care units

In the late 1970s, the Salvation Army partly implemented a residential child care facility comprising:

  • family group homes – for young boys and girls who needed extended care, and who could benefit from family group home care; and
  • group care units – for boys with more complex needs in a semi-autonomous, three-unit situation with more concentrated staff input.

By 1979, fewer boys needed placement and alternative methods of care were preferred (including placement in different facilities, with relatives or friends, in foster care or adoption).


In 1984–85 the Child Welfare Practice and Legislation Review recommended that the management of custodial centres for young people should be the responsibility of the state.

Bayswater Youth Training Centre ceased operations in 1987. Bayswater Boys Home became the Mountain Valley Youth Camp and Conference Centre, and the youth training centre became The Basin Farm, part of the Salvation Army's Bridge and Employment Programs.

Warning about distressing information

This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience. Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria. If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.


Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see Find & ConnectExternal Link .


  • Guide to out-of-home care services 1940–2000: volume one – agency descriptions, compiled by James Jenkinson Consulting, North Melbourne, November 2001.

Reviewed 10 August 2016