Heritage Service

At the Uniting Heritage Service , we recognise the significance childhood records have in people’s lives.  We recognise that for many people being adopted or living in care has a significant impact on them and their family.

Were you or a family member in out-of-home care or adopted?

Our service exists to support you, and your family members, if you were adopted or spent some or all of your childhood in out-of-home care services provided by the former Presbyterian, Methodist or Uniting Churches in Victoria.

"Those who contact us for assistance often seek a sense of who they were and what they looked like, to better understand their past and their present"

- Catriona Milne, Manager Uniting Heritage Service 

Founding agencies

  • Connections: Methodist Babies Home (1929-1974), Presbyterian Babies Home (1928-1977), Canterbury Family Centre (1977-2000).
  • UnitingCare Gippsland: Kilmany Park Farm Home for Boys, Sale (1923-1978), Kilmany Family Care (family group homes), East Gippsland (1978-2002), Kilmany UnitingCare (2001-2010).
  • UnitingCare Harrison: Arthur Harrison Boy’s Home, Hawthorn (1960-1977), Harrison House Youth Services (also known as Harrison Youth Hostel), Melbourne eastern suburbs (1982-1994).
  • UnitingCare Kildonan: Kildonan, North Melbourne (1890-1937), Kildonan, Elgar Road, Burwood (1937-1961), Kildonan Homes for Children, Melbourne’s eastern and inner suburbs (1961-1993), Kildonan Child and Family Services, office in Whittlesea/Epping (1993-2007).
  • UnitingCare Lentara: Methodist Homes for Children, Cheltenham (1891-1953), Orana, the Peace Memorial Homes for Children, Burwood (1953-1988).
  • Wesley Mission Victoria: South Yarra Home (1900-1936), Tally Ho Boys Training Farm, Burwood (1903-1986), Tally Ho Youth Services, Melbourne eastern suburbs (1986- 1990s), Memorial Girls Home, Fairfield (1922-1984), Moreland Hall, Brunswick (1936-1969), Lincoln House, Central Mission Hostel for Boys, King Street, Melbourne (c1939-1950), Wesley Youth Services, Melbourne eastern suburbs (1986-current).
  • UnitingCare Wimmera: Wimmera Family Homes/Wimmera Community Care, Horsham/ Stawell (1979-2000), Wimmera UnitingCare (2000-current).
  • UnitingCare Wyndham: Werribee Support and Housing (also known as Bridges Foster Care Inner West), Werribee and Melbourne (1982-current).
  • UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania: Dhurringile Rural Training Farm, Tatura (1951-1964), Regent House Hostel for Girls, Elsternwick (1966-1977).

The founding agencies of Uniting provided out-of home care and adoption services in Victoria. Under each agency are the names of orphanages, children’s homes, family group homes and foster care providers that were run by the former Methodist, Presbyterian Churches, and the Uniting Church.

Uniting Vic.Tas continues to provide some of these services today.

The former Presbyterian and Methodist Services that later became Connections, organised adoptions.

Helping you better understand the past

We hold records, photographs, historical material and other documents that date back to 1890, from Uniting founding agencies.

We can help you access these records, including information about your or your family member’s adoption or time in care and support you in the journey to better understand the past.

Accessing historical information and records

  • Access records held by Uniting
  • Assistance with requesting records held by other agencies and organisations

Ongoing support

  • Assistance searching for a family member or other significant people from the past 
  • Connecting past residents with health and social support services 
  • Organising reunions

Photographs and memorabilia

We deeply regret that record keeping practices of the past have meant that many records were not retained, or if retained, are very scant. Photographs and memorabilia are important in giving people a clearer sense of their history, particularly where information is scarce. We have a collection of these which you can view. We are interested in hearing from people who may have kept photographs and other items from their time in care.

Records from Tally Ho (1903-1986)

Uniting holds minimal records from Tally Ho prior to the 1980s and has for some time been actively searching for personal records and other documents to assist past residents seeking information about their time at Tally Ho. Mistakenly, it had been thought that a fire or fires may have been the reason why the records are incomplete. 

Uniting Church apology

In September 2004, the Uniting Church in Australia issued an apology to children who suffered neglect and abuse while in institutional care provided by the Uniting Church, its former denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational) and its agencies during the last century.

Uniting Heritage

Catch up on the latest news and projects at the Heritage Service through our Uniting Heritage newsletter. 

Accessing our service

If you would like to make an enquiry about yourself or that of a family member, please get in contact.

Other ways to contact us

If you prefer to write to us in your own words, please send it to the below address:

Catriona Milne
Manager, Uniting Heritage Service
Locked Bag 8
A’Beckett Street PO
Melbourne VIC 8006

Email: Catriona.milne@vt.uniting.org
Ph: 03 8644 1531

More resources and information

The following services may provide you with further support and information:

Find & Connect
Open Place
CLAN
Connecting Home
Link-Up
CREATE Foundation
VANISH