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St Catherine's Girls' Orphanage

Originally opened in 1912, St Catherine’s Girl’s Orphanage relocated to Highton in 1928 before transforming to a family group home service in 1975.

Within a couple of years Our Lady’s Girl’s Orphanage was built at Newtown, with a home that included a convent, boarding school and day school. To distinguish the orphanage as separate from the school with which it shared buildings, in 1912 it was renamed St Catherine’s Orphanage.

In 1928, the orphanage relocated to a new purpose-built home in nearby Highton. The name changed in 1960 to St Catherine’s Children’s Home, a more accurate reflection of services available: most of the girls were not orphans, and any male siblings living at the nearby St Augustine’s Boys’ Home could now live with their sisters.

The home was sold in 1975 and the service relocated to North Geelong and renamed the Mercy Family Centre. All children relocated to family group homes with services expanding to include families.