Tally Ho Boys Training Farm history in brief
In 1903, the Central Methodist Mission established a training farm on 39 acres of land in Burwood East, for boys coming into care via the courts. The farm also accepted private placements.
The farm was a congregate care facility with large dormitories. In the 1930’s, it was run as a community with its own Parliament involving staff and boys. The farm had its own school.
In 1934, the farm moved towards cottage-style accommodation.
Following the World War II, the created a cottage-based system to replace the original dormitories. The new 'boys village' was called Tally Ho. Seven cottages were located at various points on the land adjoining Highbury Road.
By 1935, more than 70 per cent of the boys at Tally Ho were state wards about 14 years old. Increasingly, boys were admitted because of parental neglect rather than offending behaviour, although parents experiencing family problems continued placing their boys.
In 1957 a new Tally Ho superintendent changed to a new focus on offenders referred from Turana Youth Reception Centre, who had a long-term goal to return to their families and stayed for shorter periods.
Tally Ho began to move away from the training farm concept toward a more therapeutic and family-oriented program of care and development.
From 1970–75, Tally Ho introduced professionally trained and qualified staff, started psychological testing of the children in care, intensive professional counselling and case work guidance of staff, as well as an activities and social development program.
In 1975, William Glasser's reality therapy was introduced at Tally Ho, involving intensive case planning and weekly case reviews. Psychological and education testing was systematised and linked to a computerised system. Intensive staff training was introduced and the educational program reviewed.
The number of children in each cottage was reduced to six.
In 1977, Tally Ho's program was further enhanced and females were admitted. Young people had a greater involvement in the community and off-campus units helped reduce campus-based services in favour of a total community service program. Tally Ho provided a multi-regional specialist service and operated as a therapeutic community for child care in the Outer Eastern Region.
By the late 1970s Tally Ho was:
•caring for approximately 50–60 children and young people of both sexes
•operating as a statewide specialist facility catering for difficult and disturbed adolescents, with 10 family group homes both on and off campus
•operating a campus-based school for about half the residents, with the remainder attending external schools
•predominantly using William Glasser's reality therapy approach.
In 1983, Tally Ho Village established two early adolescent transition care units.
In 1984–86 Tally Ho closed after first developing new community-based services to meet the needs of the group already being serviced by Tally Ho.
Wesley Central Mission's archives are open by appointment. The Mission's Archivist is available weekdays (except Tuesday) between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm. Requests for access to archival material must be made to:
Wesley Mission Victoria
Level 8, 505 Little Collins Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
Ph 03 9662 1203
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 .
- 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 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 Tally Ho dates from 1974–86 and includes:
- names of children for home visit by department or Tally Ho and release and seeking board, 14 November 1974
- staff manual, 1975
- towards a therapeutic community, 1979
- working arrangements, working papers, 1983
- numbers of admissions, discharges to wardship by area, 1975, 1976, 1977
- schedule of staffing, names in family groups, 1977
- correspondence, 1978
- summary list of absconders, 1977 and 1978
- students returning to school, 1980; admission and discharge figures, 1973–77
- siblings in group or separate placements, names, 1977
- cases list 14 November 1977, list of children and allocated worker and region, 3 November 1977
- classification index, summary list of ward name and number and school attended, address, next of kin, 1 March 1978
- correspondence and other documents associated with case reviews for resident wards of state. Includes numerous lists of wards, some showing next of kin and allocated staff details. Numerous detailed case review notes for individual residents, 1977–78
- child care program and staff manual, c.1980
- reason for admission, readmission to wardship list analyses, c.1981
- declaration of institution as an approved children’s home, 22 August 1983
- relocation to inner urban [includes summary list and legend of wards, application to establish an adolescent unit at 18 Dickens Street, Elwood, 1981–83]
- report on Tally Ho referral procedure by Outer Eastern Region [includes admission list 19 November 1982]
- raw data [summary lists of children admitted, returned, discharged and transferred] January 1976 to November 1978.
Accommodation and support files, Eastern Metropolitan Region: files relating to Tally Ho Youth Services (1979-97)
Content: This collection is composed of files relating to a range of programs overseen by and attributed to Community Services Victoria’s (CSV) Eastern Metropolitan regional office between 1979–97.
The files are administrative in nature. Because Tally Ho was geographically within that region, some files that document the department’s relationship with Tally Ho, and Tally Ho activities, are to be found in the collection.
Numbers marked on the file covers indicate that they were all part of the same filing system (the file numbers represented were originally part of a sequential number system). The whole collection includes files that are not numbered and presumably a number of different systems were put together for convenience in the regional office of CSV.
Following are details of the files that relate specifically to Tally Ho.
Community Friends Program
Tally Ho set up a Community Friends Program, which was a Youth Accommodation and Support Services (YASS) program that aimed to provide opportunity for young people in need to acquire life skills through community support. It was financially supported by Community Services Victoria (CSV). Related files are:
- Community Friends Program policy and procedure document (file 167E), 1987
- YASS finance claims (file 80), 1987–91. This file holds claims and records of payment of claims by Tally Ho Youth Services for CSV to reimburse costs such as salaries
- Friends program statistical returns (file 81), 1987–90
Other administrative files
- Tally Ho Youth Services Working File (file 78), 1988–90. This is a general file on a variety of matters between CSV and Tally Ho such as salaries, referrals, plans and program. It includes some young people’s names
- Tally Ho Youth Services staff manual (file FYCS 79) c.1980s
- Mitcham and Ferntree Gully units statistical returns (file 79), 1987–92
This file contains statistics for two residential units operated by Tally Ho Youth Services
- services review, 1988 (file 83), 1987–88. The file includes minutes of meetings and a review report
- program development model and service philosophy documents (file FYCS 80.1), 1989–90. The file contains multiple drafts of documents associated with Tally Ho’s service delivery
- minutes of Tally-Ho redevelopment meeting 1990–95.
Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels files (1975-83)
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 Tally Ho Boy’s Village dates from the year 1976.
Staffing Priorities Committee, homes and hostels, correspondence, guidelines for operation and minutes of meetings (1976-80)
Content: The material comprises 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 (1971-77)
Content: These accounts and funding files are for individual children’s homes and were used to document funding allocations. They contain a monthly census giving names and dates of birth to calculate per capital 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 under the title, ‘Tally Ho Boys Village,’ dates from 1972–75.
Reviewed 26 August 2016