Marillac House (1943-current)


  • Auspice: The Daughters of Charity
  • Title or Name:Marillac House (1943–current)
  • Address: 3 Mavis Avenue, Brighton East 

Marillac House history in brief

In 1943, the Daughters of Charity established Marillac House as a residential school for children with intellectual disability, including children from their Girls Orphanage in Abbotsford. Marillac House occupied a large converted East Brighton residence with capacity for 40 girls, including wards.

In 1951, an adjoining building was added.

In 1957, the home was designated a 'special school' and had up to 80 girls, aged five to 18 years.
At the time it was Victoria’s only privately-operated residential accommodation for girls with an intellectual disability.

By the late 1960s Marillac House had:

  • 56 girls – weekly boarders, privately placed and housed in dormitories
  • 16 state wards – housed in two adjacent family group homes
  • two hostels: Maryville (in conjunction with the Youth Welfare Division) for girls with employment; and Mandurah, a sheltered workshop for older girls not employed.

In 1987, Marillac House closed the original buildings and school to better target residential accommodation and outreach services.

In 1993, Marillac House started offering outreach support for adults with an intellectual disability living independently in the community.

Marillac House Limited currently (2016) provides residential care and a range of outreach and other support services for children and adults with an intellectual disability in Melbourne’s southern metropolitan region.

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-c.1985)

File; Permanent VPRS 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 file(s) relating to Marillac House dates from 1943–1984 and include:

  • correspondence advising the department that the Sisters of Charity is setting up a children’s home and accepting wards of state, 1943
  • inspectors’ and visit reports, 1943–1947, 1951, 1953–1955, 1957, 1958, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1977
  • lists of wards, 1934, 1950, 1953, 1955, 1965
  • scale of medical fees, and dental treatment for wards, 1957
  • application and approval of declaration of Marillac House as an approved children’s home, 1957
  • optical services for state wards, 1961
  • grants by Mental Hygiene Authority, 1963
  • correspondence including school books, education, health and immunisation, 1964
  • detailed report on Marillac house, 1965
  • income and expenditure comparison, staffing and income, 1976, 1977
  • declaration of establishments as approved children’s homes at 6 Waiora Avenue, 27 and 31 Milroy Street, East Brighton, 1970
  • report on wards’ behaviour 1948, 1964, 1965
  • correspondence regarding government funding for wards of state, 1953, 1955
  • list of wards, behaviour, education, 1965
  • correspondence and press clippings regarding a ward’s accidental death by drowning, 1976

Reviewed 10 August 2016