Legacy – hostels and homes


  • Auspice: Legacy
  • Title or Name: Legacy – hostels and homes (1950s to 1982) ; Blamey House ; Holmbush ; Stanhope ; Harelands
  • Address: Blamey House,124 Balcombe Road, Beaumaris ; Holmbush, 1267 Burke Road, Kew ; Stanhope, 1245 Burke Road, Kew ; Harelands, 5 Willsmere Road, Kew

Legacy history in brief

In 1923, Legacy was founded by a group of returned servicemen from World War I who wanted to help the widows and children of comrades who had died.

By 1955, Melbourne Legacy was operating four residences for children and young people:

  • Blamey House, 124 Balcombe Road, Beaumaris: children aged five to nine years (from mid-1970s, boys aged 14 and older)
  • Holmbush, 1267 Burke Road, Kew: children aged nine to 14 years
  • Stanhope, 1245 Burke Road, Kew: young people in tertiary education (from mid-1970s, girls 14 and older)
  • Harelands, 5 Willsmere Road, Kew: young people in employment transitioning to independence (from mid-1970s, boys and girls six to 14 years).

All placements were for children of deceased ex-servicemen, or children of ex-servicemen and women who had been wards of the state.

During the 1960s and 1970s, numbers of children needing accommodation reduced and numbers of young employed needing auxiliary accommodation in private homes and guest houses increased.

By 1977, Legacy operated only two homes: Blamey House in Burke Road housed boys 13 years and older was closed. The name transferred to the former Harelands in Kew, before closing in 1980.

In the same period, Stanhope, previously home to girls 14 and older, was rebuilt to accommodate girls of all ages and boys up to puberty. Stanhope closed in 1982

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.

Voluntary children’s homes files (c.1930-85)

File ; Permanent VPRS 18069 / P0001 ; 18069 / P0002

Content: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government. This filing system was created in 1975 combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with VH prefixes.

The specific files relating to the Legacy homes date from 1949 to 1982 and include:

  • inspectors’ and other reports, some including names of children, 1949–76
  • correspondence relating to classification of the homes and need to be registered, request for exemption from registration 1954–77
  • Blamey Hose registered as a children’s home; other homes not registered as they do not house children under 14, 1956
  • correspondence relating to funding for school uniforms 1968
  • correspondence regarding wards: boarding out, in employment; placement; education et cetera, 1957–68
  • press clippings 1973
  • application and declaration of Harelands as an approved children’s home 1972
  • reference to commencement of Holmbush in 1946, 1955
  • various Legacy premises registered 1972
  • plans for new building at Stanhope, intention to purchase Stanhope from Red Cross and develop the building 1975
  • correspondence regarding reclassification of Stanhope and Blamey House 1976–77
  • closure of Blamey house and reopening Harelands as new Blamey House 1977
  • lists of homes and number of beds in Melbourne 1977
  • staffing matters, operating policy, function and future plans, funding and demands 1976–79
  • intention to close Stanhope, including list of children, 1982.

Family Welfare Division funding and accounts files (1971-77)

File ; Permanent VPRS 18069 / P0001 ; 18069 / P0002

Content: These accounts and funding files are for individual children’s homes and are used to make allocations. They contain a monthly census giving names and dates of birth to calculate per capita expenses. There are annual reports of homes, income statements, reports on conditions of homes as assessed on visits. The records are arranged in a broad chronological order.

The specific file relates to the Harelands Legacy Hostel and dates from 1971–77.

Reviewed 10 August 2016