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St Augustine's Orphanage

Opening in 1857, St Augustine’s Orphanage came under the management of the Christian Brothers the following year.

The Friendly Brothers’ Society established St Augustine's Orphanage in 1857 following a land and money grant from the Victorian government.

Within three years, the orphanage was home to more than 60 children. When the Christian Brothers took over managing the orphanage in 1878, children were separated by gender, with girls moving nearby to St Catherine’s Girls’ Orphanage.

Farm land bought next to the orphanage had a two-fold purpose: to introduce farming and gardening as school subjects for the boys, with the resultant benefit making the home self-sufficient in produce.

In 1939, the 350 boys living at St Augustine’s relocated to a spacious new home in Highton, built on 620 acres (230 hectares) of farmland. In keeping with changing attitudes and care practices of the time, in 1966 the home did away with its dormitory system of living and introduced cottages where smaller groups of boys lived in a more family-like atmosphere.

When the service moved to Whittington in 1988, its name changed to St Augustine’s Adolescent and Family Services. The service now placed small groups of young people in residential homes located around Geelong.