We are justly proud of our history which spans over 110 years.
In 1895, Mr. Robert Campbell Edwards, a prosperous, Irish born, tea-merchant, having great concern about the number of children living on the streets of Melbourne, founded and built the Burwood Boys' Home. His admirable philosophy was that 'no truly destitute boy would ever be turned away'. To achieve his goals, he took advantage of a 'buyer's market' by purchasing a choice parcel of real estate in Warrigal Road, Burwood and promptly erected a fairly substantial wooden house - all for the princely sum of £500.
A flourishing market garden was cultivated, surplus goods sold and the money used to cover other expenses. A further saving was made by raising dairy cows enabling the home to produce its own milk supply. From the age of 14 years the children participated in working the land and gained sound experience that led to many securing paid positions as farmers or dairymen whilst others were encouraged and supported to learn a trade.
Girls were first admitted to the Home in 1972 which necessitated the name change from Burwood Boys’ Home to Burwood Children’s Home. In the 1980's, the government revamped its social welfare policy with an increase in benefits to many families. As a result, many children, who might otherwise have been placed in care, were able to be supported in their own homes or fostered in private homes. This eliminated the need for institutions.
In 1986, after operating for more than 90 years, the Home closed its doors and the Burwood property was sold. The organisation then underwent a name change to Child and Family Care Network Inc. and relocated to Glen Waverley.
Burwood Boys' Home enquiries
bestchance will do its best to assist with enquiries from any past 'Burwood Resident'.
Please call 8562 5100 and ask for our Heritage Officer. If you have any memorbillia or stories that you would like to share with us please fill in the attached form and post to us and our Officer will be in contact.
Please note that sometimes our records may be incomplete and the following organisations may also be of assistance:
vanish.org.au - provides advice and support to any member of the community who has been placed in adoption, state wardship, an institution or foster care
dhs.vic.gov.au - this department holds Wards of the State/Child Protection information