Orana Methodist Peace Memorial Homes


  • Auspice: Methodist Help and Rescue Mission (1888–1900); Methodist Babies Home (1900–28); Methodist Homes for Children (1929–45); Methodist Peace Memorial Home for Children (1945–c.51); Orana Peace Memorial Homes for Children (1951–c.70s); Orana Family Services (1970s—2011); Orana UnitingCare (2011–12); Lentara UnitingCare (2012–current)
  • Name:"ORANA" The Peace Memorial Homes for Children (1953–88)
  • Approved Children's Homes Alkira, 87 Elgar Road, Burwood, 3125; Balmara, 87 Elgar Road, Burwood, 3125; Cato, 87 Elgar Road, Burwood, 3125; Dulili, 87 Elgar Road, Burwood, 3125l Lentara, 87 Elgar Road. Burwood, 3125
  • Family Group Homes 9 Ailsa Avenue, East Malvern, 3145; 40 Muir Street, Mount Waverley, 3149; 32 Hawkins Avenue, Box Hill North, 3129; 227 Elgar Road, Box Hill, 3128; 8, 36, and 41 Papworth Place, Meadow Heights, 3048; Units 1 and 2, 1571 Hudson Circuit Meadow Heights, 3048
  • Adolescent Residential Units 17 Lalwa Street, Blackburn, 3130; 29 Hudson Circuit, Meadow Heights, 3048; 99–101 Elgar Road, Box Hill, 3125
  • Multi-service Agency Adolescent Community Placement:  21–27 Hudson Circuit, Meadow Heights, 3048

Orana Methodist Peace memorial Homes history in brief

In 1888, the Methodist Help and Rescue Mission was established at Carlton, moving in 1891 to Cheltenham. The Methodist Homes for Children in Cheltenham provided dormitory-style accommodation.

Following World War II, Orana was conceived as a Peace Memorial of the Methodist Church of Victoria and Tasmania. 

In 1953 the homes at Cheltenham were sold to the St John of God Order for work with children with intellectual disability.

In 1953, Orana, the (Methodist) Peace Memorial Homes for Children, was established in Burwood and catered for Protestant boys and girls aged four to 14 years. 

In 1955 the home's capacity was 78 children of both sexes, preferably on longer-term placements. It was approved as a voluntary child migration organisation, authorised to take post-war child migrants from the United Kingdom. Accommodation was provided in a campus cottage system with up to 12 children in each cottage, including sibling groups. An on-site kindergarten was open to local children; a special pre-school cottage housed 12 children under six years; and school-age residents went to local state schools. 

In 1967, an off-campus family group home was purchased at 9 Ailsa Avenue, East Malvern. Children were transferred from Orana, reducing Orana’s numbers to 10 per cottage.  

In the early 1970s, Orana started offering specialist treatment for children with higher needs, using professional staff from external agencies working intensively with Orana staff, children and their families on campus. At the same time, another family group home further reduced numbers to eight per cottage. 

In 1977, numbers were down to six per cottage, improving the level of care available to the children with increasingly complex issues.

In 1977–78, Orana developed a flexible model of residential child care and support services targeted to children not otherwise catered for in the state's existing network.

In 1980, Orana provided:

  • residential care for children focusing on intensive therapeutic and remedial assistance for difficult-to-place children and adolescents (Elgar Street campus)
  • an emergency residential placement unit
  • a long-term care for children needing more intensive care 
  • a transitional care unit
  • two interim family group homes
  • a youth and aftercare service, including an early adolescent unit.

Orana also provided support to the Uniting Church for the establishment of family group homes in the Wimmera region (see separate entry for ‘Wimmera Community Care’).

Orana also staffed a new foster care program in the Wimmera region.

By the mid-1980s, Orana was operating as a multiregional service prioritising children whose families lived in the eastern and southern suburbs of Melbourne.
In 1988 Orana moved to Coolaroo in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.  

In 2012 it merged with Broadmeadows UnitingCare to form Lentara UnitingCare servicing the City of Hume.

Requests for records should be directed to:
Lentara UnitingCare
Care Leaver Support Worker
PO Box 3217
Broadmeadows Victoria 3047
Ph 03 9351 3600

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 & Connect .


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 / P0001 and 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 Orana are dated 1943–86 and include:

  • admission and discharge list, 2 September 1945
  • return of admissions and discharges as at 21 September 1945; 4 December 1982
  • correspondence with department: 1943 – placement of two wards, staffing, holidays placements, health benefits for wards, school books, boarding-out payments, general correspondence regarding wards, financial future of Orana and closure of cottages; review of ward placements 1983.
  • inspectors’ reports, 1947–53, 1957, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1973
  • list of wards of state, 1945, 1977, 1982
  • detailed report regarding British migrant children, 1953
  • application for declaration as an approved children’s home, 1955, 1967
  • Children calling newsletter celebrating 80th anniversary of the Methodist Homes for Children, 1968  
  • Children calling newsletter, 1973
  • file note regarding transfer of a ward alleged to attack others, 1973
  • deputation to the department, ministerial briefing notes, 1975
  • interim report to Schools Commission, 1975
  • names and case information on children, 1975
  • copy of report, Mission to St James and St John, study of residential child care services in Westernport region, 1976
  • copy of recommendations of the committee of Enquiry into Child Care Services in Victoria, relating to Orana, 1976 •submission to Education Department for funding, 1977
  • detailed report on operations including reduction of child numbers from 64 to 50, 1977
  • transfer of wards in and out of Orana, 1977
  • report of and other papers of  Subcommittee Appointed to Review Policy and Staffing of Orana, 1977
  • minutes of meetings and conferences discussing the future of Orana, 1977–79
  • statistics for Methodist Homes, c.1977
  • Details of children at Orana as at June 1977
  • report on staff and staffing, 1977
  • copies of Orana director’s reports on future of Orana, 1977
  • analysis of children’s admissions (dates and reasons, no names), 1978–79
  • budget details, board of management proposals, 1978
  • report on children’s needs, 1979
  • correspondence and reports on the future of Orana, 1979
  • correspondence regarding possible purchase of family group homes, community house and emergency accommodation, 1980
  • proposals to acquire homes at 32 Hawkins Avenue, Box Hill North, and 95 Essex Road, Mount Waverley, 40 Muir Street Mt Waverley as family group homes, 1980–81
  • proposal for adolescent family group home, 1982
  • notes on discussion regarding Kildonan / Orana family group home in Inner Urban Region, 1982
  • correspondence regarding conversion fund for establishing early adolescent unit and as an approved children’s home at Lalawa Street Blackburn, 1982
  • case report on a ward, 1983
  • purchased Kildonan family group home at  227 Elgar Road, Box Hill North, 1983
  • correspondence re Orana reconstruction and proposals for new purchases, 1983
  • brochure on the Orana site housing development, 1983
  • meeting minutes, department and Orana, regarding rebuilding plans, 1983
  • summaries of services and Orana future organisation, 1983
  • correspondence regarding government contribution to rebuilding of Orana, 1983
  • summary history of Orana for 100th anniversary, 1983
  • declaration of institution as an approved children’s home on 3 November 1955; 19 April 1983
  • annual reports, plans and articles, includes future directions for the service, 1963–95
  • annual reports, 1981–82
  • brochures, staff manuals c.1970s
  • redevelopment site plan, c.1980s
  • report, Orana: the Peace Memorial Homes for Children future directions for services, 1985

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

File; Temporary

Content: This collection comprised 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 this home 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.

Family Welfare Division funding and accounts files

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 relating to the Orana Methodist Peace Memorial Home dates from 1971–75.

Reviewed 19 August 2016