Four Flats Hostel (1977–81)


  • Auspice: Four Flats Youth Services Limited
  • Name: Four Flats Hostel (1977–81)
  • Other names: Four Flats; Four Apartments Hawthorn Limited; Four Flats Youth Services Limited (1983-87), Brosnan Centre (1987 -)
  • Address: Power Street, Hawthorn 

Four Flats Youth Services history in brief

In 1977, Four Flats Youth Services Limited established the Four Flats Hostel in Hawthorn, providing accommodation for young, homeless offenders aged 17 to 21 years released from correctional institutions.

Four Flats offered Victoria’s only transitional program for this age group. The Department of Social Welfare provided funding. Referrals came from the youth training centres at Parkville, Langi Kal Kal and Malmsbury and Pentridge.

The name 'Four Flats' was chosen because the old home had been divided into four separate flats. Two Jesuit priests occupied one flat for the first two years and various Jesuits spents different periods of time there over those two years. The other three were allocated to residents, the first arriving from Malmsbury in January 1977.

The hostel closed towards the end of 1981. After the closure of the Hostel , Four Flats established an office in Collingwood and organised accommodation in nearby suburbs for far more young people. In 1983 it was renamed Four Flats Youth Services, and in 1987 it was renamed the Brosnan Centre.

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.

List of records held by the department

For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide to Central department wardship and out-of-home care records. These collections date back to the 1860s and include ward registers, index cards and ward files.

Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels files (1976-83)

File ; Temporary

Content: This accession comprises files documenting the recommendations for staffing positions for homes and hostels, correspondence between the Minister of Community Welfare Services and senior officers as well as funding information.

The Staffing Priorities Committee made recommendations to the minister regarding priority of staffing positions required.

Individual homes and hostels are listed accompanied by comprehensive material concerning each home, family group home or hostel. There are also minutes from the approved children's homes and hostels meetings from 1978–80.

The specific file relating to Four Flats Hostel dates from 1977–78.

Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels, correspondence, guidelines for operation and minutes of meetings (1976-80)

File ; Unappraised

Content:The material includes ministerial correspondence, and Staffing Priority Committee minutes and list of members. The Staffing Priorities Committee made recommendations to the minister regarding priority of staffing positions required.

Reviewed 10 August 2016