Ivanhoe Girls Hostel (1965-93)


  • Auspice: Social Welfare Branch, Chief Secretary's Department, 1963-71 ; Social Wekfare department, 1971-79 ; Department of Community Welfare Services, 1979-85 ; Department of Community Services, 1985-92 ; Department of Health and Community Services, 1992-93
  • Title or Name: Ivanhoe Girls Hostel (1965-93)
  • Address: 10 Marshall Street, Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe Girls Hostel history in brief

Around 1965, the Victorian Government established the Ivanhoe Girls Hostel.

It housed female wards of the state who were previously at Winlaton. The average length of stay varied from 6 to 12 months according to individual needs.
In 1993, The Ivanhoe Girls’ Hostel closed.

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 .


FIND & CONNECT, History and information about Australian orphanages, children’s homes and other institutions.

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.

Youth information

Index cards (1984-97)

Card; Unappraised

Content: These cards are arranged alphabetically by the name of each teenager and young woman. The cards record summary information about the residents at the hostel. Information is recorded on the fronts and backs of cards and for some of the girls there is more than one card, with any additional cards stapled behind the first card.

There are two sorts of information recorded. On the front of the first card, and sometimes on the front of subsequent cards, is recorded information including:

  • name
  • date of birth and age
  • status, that is, whether or not a ward of state, ward number and date admitted as a ward
  • name of social worker assigned to the girl’s case
  • Medicare number
  • family, friends and other contact details
  • if employed or at school, contact information.

On the rear and on subsequent cards is recorded, in chronological order, short, dated entries summarising activities, incidents, events, interviews and so on to do with the person.

There are three sequences of cards with approximate date ranges of 1984–87, 1986–94 and 1994–97. In the latest of the three sequences there are sometimes a larger number of cards stapled together to record details for individual residents.

The summary information provided a quick reference to the history of girls’ movements and activities. It may also have served to index contents of case history files that were maintained for the young people.

The date range for most cards is 1984–85, with one sighted to 1987.

Case history files (1968-2000)

File; Unappraised

Content: This collection of files relates to girls who were resident in the Ivanhoe Girls Hostel. Given the hostel’s role to provide a means for young people to achieve a sustainable level of self-reliance, the files primarily document the girls’ experiences and the support provided to them to achieve that goal.
The files are arranged alphabetically by name. Most files have a date range within the range 1968–1989. There is one file with a date range to 2000.

Continuity books (1981-97)

Volume; Temporary

Content: These volumes contain information recorded by hostel workers during their shifts to document activities, events, incidents, appointments and any matters that needed to be noted for staff in subsequent shifts. Their primary function was to provide a means of communication between staff, and they include information about hostel residents.

The volumes are arranged chronologically by date range of their content. Entries in the volumes are arranged chronologically and may record information identified by time of day, by staff members’ names or by residents’ names.

Daily diary (1980-96)

Volume; Temporary

Content: These diaries were used by hostel staff to note actions that needed to be attended to on particular days or at particular times. They served to remind whichever staff member was on duty at the noted time to ensure the activity took place. Items include:

  • staff assisting or arranging transport
  • notes of girls’ appointments to be attended
  • notes regarding petty cash and girls’ banking
  • employment opportunities, interviews or appointments
  • family, school or other obligations for the girls.

Incident reports (1979-82)

File; Permanent and Temporary

Content: These few files contain loose copies and some original reports on incidents that occurred at the Ivanhoe Hostel or that involved residents of the hostel. One file contains notes and copies of a variety of reports while the other six files each relate to an individual hostel resident.

Some reports are on official forms and others are not. The official forms provide for the incident to be categorised. Also included is a copy of the departmental circular instruction on notification of serious incidents.

The reports are variously typed, handwritten, photocopied or carbon-copied. They were written by hostel staff and presumably a version of the reports was submitted to management in the Social Welfare Department / Department of Community Welfare Services.

Referrals: volumes (1986-90)

Volume; Temporary

Content: These records document the process of consideration of cases for admission of girls referred to the Ivanhoe Hostel. Information in these records relates to individual residents and may include detailed case information. There are several volumes and one bundle with differences in the way the information is recorded in each.

  • 1977–84. This bundle of records contains mostly referral forms, some with other documents attached. The forms include notes on the reasons for the referral, family situation, medical information, reason and date of wardship, court appearances, and history of previous placements. They are loosely arranged chronologically and many are marked with an annual single number.
  • For 1986–88, diaries have been used. Information is recorded on a page for a particular date and may include both written notes on the page and attached documents. Attachments may include correspondence and referral forms. The notes generally summarise or outline the matters to be considered in deciding to accept or reject the referral for placement of the girl, and the decision.
  • 1988–90. This single volume differs in that the pages are not dated and that the attachments are more numerous. Otherwise this record is essentially the same as the other with content being arranged chronologically.
  • 1985–87. This volume is entirely different to the others in that it contains summary information about referrals that were considered in the period covered by it. It may have been created as an index to provide access to other referral records. In table form, it provides: a running case number, name (of girl), wardship references, dates of admission, birth and discharge, who referred by, region, whether absconded or RDO (returned director’s order), comments. Entries in this volume do not index all referral documented in the other volumes.

Youth workers management and support files (1975-85)

File; Temporary

Content: These few files relate to girls who were or had been resident at Ivanhoe Girls Hostel. They appear to be working files created by hostel youth workers to provide ongoing support for the girls, some of whom appeared to have had difficulty adjusting to independent living.

The files are identifiable by the girls’ names.

Note that for five of the six files present there is a separate trainee case file (see listing elsewhere in this document).

Resident meeting minutes (1983-90)

Volume; Temporary

Content: Weekly meetings of hostel residents were held and attended by the residents and some times a staff member. Minutes were recorded on rotation by residents. The matters discussed include rostered jobs in the hostel, achievements, activities and residents’ responsibilities. The minutes are recorded chronologically within volumes.

Departmental information

Staff meeting minutes (1981-93)

Volume; Temporary

Content: Hostel staff met periodically to discus general hostel business and any issues relating to individual residents. The minutes are recorded chronologically within volumes.

Hostel master files (1976-?)

File; Temporary

Content: These three files are labelled as master files and are numbered from 1 to 3. The second file has on it the following note:


  • All correspondence, In & Out, except Directors’ Director Generals, Circulars & General HO Info.
  • All submissions to YWD or Hostels Meetings’

File one has an index to its content as the top attached document. File two has a partial index and file three has no index.

Subject matter is broad but includes staffing issues, reviews of operations, incidents and so on. The focus of documents is not generally the residents but some documents do name individual residents and their circumstances.

Hostel records (1975-85)

File; Unappraised

Content: These records were mostly administrative and financial records with some cash books. There were a few client case management records and client referral records which have been removed and placed into other collections and are included elsewhere in this list of records held.

The remaining records were destroyed in 2010.

Administrative records (1987-97)

File; Temporary

Content: This small collection relates to the administration of the Ivanhoe Girls Hostel and includes:

  • bank statements, 1987–96
  • deposit book receipts, 1995–97
  • cheque butts, 1996–97
  • vehicle use records, 1987–96
  • petty cash records, 1991–98
  • Cabcharge records, 1996–97
  • purchase orders, 1996–97

Personnel files (1985-96)

File; Unappraised

Content: This collection consists of a box of staff files. The staff files are in alphabetical order by family name and may contain:

  • rosters
  • attendance sheets
  • leave details
  • appointment and termination details
  • accident or compensation details
  • correspondence.

Note that this collection originally included a variety of administrative and financial records that have been destroyed.

Community Services Victoria (and predecessor departments) personnel files (c.1950s-88)

File; Temporary

Content: This collection comprises the central employee filing system for the department.

These files chart each employee’s history including the following contents: employee's name, date commenced, positions held, leave details, position changes and promotions, salary increases, termination details.

Some files include the employee's leave card as well as various employment history details. These records are arranged in alphabetical order by surname.

The files include staff working at the reception centres, training centres and children’s homes.

Accident risk reports and WorkCover claims (1991-97)

File; Temporary

Content: This file contains:

  • a completed hazard inspection checklist for the hostel (undated)
  • accident risk reports, 1991–92
  • Disease/Injury/Near Miss/Accident (DNIMA) reports, 1995–97
  • correspondence (two pieces), 1995–96
  • graphic analysis of DINMAs, 1995.

The DINMA reports include three pads of duplicate completed forms.

Note that some reports include references to incidents that would have been reported separately through the formal incident reporting system.

Reviewed 24 April 2019