St Faith's Brighton (1973-84)


  • Auspice: Mission to Streets and Lanes, Church of England; Anglicare
  • Title or Name: Church of England Homes for Children (c.1890–1957)
  • Alternative Names: Girl's Hostel (1957–75); Brighton Family Centre (1968–73); St Faith’s (1973–84); Unit 64 (1974–84)
  • Address: 62 Wilson Street, Brighton (1886-1997)

St Faith's Brighton history in brief

In 1886 the Bishop of Melbourne established the Church of England Mission to the Streets and Lanes of Melbourne. The Council, the governing body of the Mission comprised mainly women with the exception of the Bishop of Melbourne and the Chaplain.

In 1888, Miss Emma Silcock (known as Sister Esther) assumed responsibility for the Mission. She was also the founder of the Community of the Holy Name in Victoria. The Sisters established the Church of England Homes for Children at Brighton and offered residential child care.

In 1968, the Brighton Family Centre was established to provide a family counselling, support and rehabilitation housing service to clients in Brighton and surrounding suburbs.

In 1973, ideas about child care needs had changed and the Sisters’ stopped providing children’s residential child care services. The remaining buildings at Brighton were reallocated to new programs and renamed Unit 64 and St Faith’s.

The facility became the base for integrated residential care – a remedial program for school-aged adolescent girls and boys. In particular, state wards and boys whose behaviour had brought them into contact with the police, the courts, departmental youth training centres and welfare services, resulting in removal from their homes or to the breakdown of other residential placements.

Unit 64 was established in 1974 as an experimental residential treatment centre for emotionally troubled adolescent girls. The facility also provided short-term emergency accommodation.

In 1976–77, the Mission combined the Brighton Family Centre and Unit 64 program and extended these integrated programs to the southern region. The services were phased out in around 1984.

In 1997, the Mission merged with the Mission of St James and St John and the St John's Homes for Boys and Girls to form Anglicare.

Client Records

Enquiries about accessing client files from St Faiths, Brighton should be made to:
The Heritage Client Practitioner
Anglicare Victoria
103 Hoddle Street
Collingwood Victoria 3066
Phone: 03 9412 6133

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 .


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 Number 18069 / P0001) and Permanent (VPRS Number 18069 / P0002)

The files essentially 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 relate to both the operations of the auspice organisation Mission to the Streets and the Lanes, as well as the facilities, Unit 64, St Faith’s and the Brighton Family Centre. The files date from 1973-86 and include the following contents:

  • annual reports 1979-81
  • SALT newsletter 1982
  • The Church of England Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes, Brighton Family Centre Child, Adolescent and Family Counselling and Support Services report, 1976
  • documentation relating to Brighton Family Centre position paper on The redevelopment of a specialized community-based residential programme for adolescents within the Southern Region 1978–80, 1978
  • submission of proposal from the Mission to the Streets and Lanes Brighton Family Centre regarding redevelopment of its community-based residential programme, including position paper, 1978
  • Brighton Family Centre admission criteria for residential programme for St Faith’s and Unit 64, 1978
  • correspondence and memoranda in preparation for meeting to discuss the proposed redevelopment of Mission to the Streets and Lanes' services based in Brighton, 1978
  • submission of revised proposal from Brighton Family Centre regarding staffing requirements and salaries budget for residential programme, 1978
  • minutes of meeting held on 9 March 1978 with Mission to the Streets and Lanes to discuss staffing positions, funding and programmes at Brighton Family Centre, 17 March 1978
  • correspondence with Mission to the Streets and Lanes regarding Conversion Funding for the Unit 64 residential programme at Brighton Family Centre, 1978–79
  • documentation relating to staffing positions and staff salary subsidies for Brighton Family Centre, 1979
  • Church of England Homes for Children, Brighton, financial statements, 1979
  • correspondence regarding Brighton Family Centre, plans for the relocation and redevelopment of Unit 64, 1979
  • Brighton Family Centre and Unit 64 list of Wards, c.1980
  • correspondence regarding organisational separation of the functions of preventive residential care and adolescent residential remedial care at Brighton Family Centre, 1980
  • Brighton Family Centre, Unit 64 and St Faith's Residential Programme, policy regarding working relationship with Department of Community Welfare Services fieldworkers, 1980
  • departmental response to correspondence regarding two social workers engaged in the family support programme, 1981
  • memoranda and correspondence regarding proposed relocation Unit 64, existing redevelopment plans and future developments for Unit 64, 1982–84
  • correspondence regarding report of the Plans and Grants Committee on the plans for the relocation of Unit 64, 1983
  • memo and briefing notes regarding the closure of Unit 64 and reallocation of the resources currently assigned to it, 1984–85.

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

File; Temporary

Content: This collection comprises 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 entitled St Faith’s Church of England Home for Children – Brighton dates from 1977–78.

Note that these records have had all permanent material removed and placed into the collection listed below.

Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels, correspondence, guidelines for operation and minutes of meetings (1976-80)

File; Unappraised

Content: This collection contains the permanent material removed from the collection listed above. These records comprise 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.

Reviewed 10 August 2016