No. 1260 - Taroona - St Joseph's Child Care Centre (1970)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches and religious orders.These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and rarely feature in published histories. My aim is to create a basic record of these buildings, including buildings which no longer exist.

Located on the Western shore of the Derwent River, Taroona is an outer southern suburb of Greater Hobart which lies within the Kingston municipality. The name ‘taroona’ is a Mouheneener word for chiton, a marine mollusc found on rocks in the intertidal regions of the foreshore. The name ‘Taroona’ was adopted by Clarendon James Cox Lord for his 18-acre property which he purchased in 1894.

Information for this article is derived from the Taroona Historical Group’s publication ‘Taroona, 1808-1986 : farm lands to a garden suburb’.

“On the 9th May 1969 the Sisters of Charity purchased Dr. J.A. Boot’s property at 26 Channel Highway. The Sisters had chosen this site as an appropriate setting to continue their child care work in Tasmania. Since 1879 the Sisters of Charity had conducted St. Joseph’s Orphanage, which was situated in Harrington Street, Hobart. Later known as Aikenhead House, the large institution, which had been the home of many children, did not lend itself readily to modifications required to create a homely atmosphere….The building was sold to the Commonwealth Government and the money used to buy the Taroona property. The Orphanage was demolished to make way for a Commonwealth Government building”.

“The house at 26 Channel Highway…was reasonably modern and of pleasing design. An architect, Mr. R. Vincent, was engaged to design extensions to this house and design three family group homes to be situated in the grounds. The extensions to the house and the three cottages were designed on similar architectural lines. The administrative centre included the Convent, kitchen, Chapel and Chaplains Quarters”.

“On the 1st May 1970 the new complex, St Joseph’s Child Centre was officially opened by the then Governor of Tasmania, Sir Eric Bastyan, and blessed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Reverend Sir Guilford Young, D.D. K.B.E. More than 500 people attended the opening”.

In 1978, St Joseph's Child Care Centre closed and St Joseph's Crisis Accommodation Centre occupied the site. The St Joseph's site has since been redeveloped as a retirement village, however the convent and chaplain's quarters still remain.

St Joseph's - Convent and Chaplain's Quarters (1970)


Taroona Historical Group.  Taroona, 1808-1986 : farm lands to a garden suburb / written by past and present residents of Taroona  Taroona Historical Group [Taroona, Tas.]  1988


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