Nazareth House (1888–1976)


  • Auspice: Poor Sisters of Nazareth, Catholic Church
  • Title or Name: Nazareth House (1888–1976); Nazareth Girls’ House; Nazareth Boys’ House
  • Address: Ballarat/ Sebastopol

Nazareth House history in brief

In 1888, the Poor Sisters of Nazareth established Nazareth House for aged people and children in the Ballarat district. Nazareth House was near (three miles from) St Joseph's Home, Sebastopol, a 'sister house' run by the same order.

Nazareth House and St Joseph's Home both cared for Catholic children. St Joseph’s cared for male and female infants and toddlers: girls were transferred to Nazareth House at six years; boys over six years remained at St Joseph’s.

In 1938, the first recorded inspection reported accommodation for 140 children.

During the 1950s, Nazareth House accommodated 100 girls on average. By 1965, capacity was down to half (50).

By the 1970s, the home accepted brothers of girls already resident. In 1976, Nazareth House closed its children's wing.

The Lisa Lodge Committee accepted six Nazareth House girls with strong Ballarat ties. All other children were transferred to other placements.

Nazareth House operates today (2016) as an aged care facility.

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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.85)

File; Permanent (VPRS Number 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 this home are dated 1938–77 and include:

  • inspection and other reports, 1938–68
  • lists of wards and child transfers (includes Children’s Welfare Department Officer’s return for quarter ending), 1938–76
  • correspondence, policy, children’s allowances, procedures including organisational change and family group homes, 1940–77
  • approval as a children’s home 1956 and closure notes 1977
  • staffing, 1956–70
  • 1975 report, ‘The Sisters of Nazareth and residential child care’ reviewing current operations of the three children’s homes, two in Ballarat and one in Melbourne
  • correspondence regarding closing of Nazareth House as a children’s home and opening of Hayeslee, 1977

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

File; Temporary

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(s) relating to this home date from 1971–1975 and comprises:

  • Nazareth Girls House, Ballarat, 16 February 1972 to 23 December 1975
  • Nazareth Boys House, Sebastopol, 4 December 1971 to 7 January 1975 [St Joseph’s Home].

Reviewed 19 August 2016