• Entry type: Organisation
  • Entry ID: AWE0498

Carlton Refuge

(From 1854 – 1949)
  • Occupation Social support organisation


The Carlton Refuge was established in 1854 with the aim of reforming prostitutes through a combination of prayer and hard work, which usually meant laundry work. As some prostitutes were also mothers, the care of single mothers became a way of fulfilling its primary goal. By 1860 its role had changed to accepting young unmarried women on their discharge from hospital and by 1880 the major part of the Refuge’s work was with those women. Declining demand and alternative means of care brought about its closure in 1949.

Published resources

  • Book
    • Reminiscences of the Carlton Refuge, 1815 to 1919., Kernot, Mary Jane, 1919
    • History of children's services: the history of the Carlton Refuge from the 1850s to 1920, 1992
    • Single mothers and their children: disposal, punishment and survival in Australia, Swain, Shurlee and Howe, Renate, 1995
  • Resource

Archival resources

  • State Library of Victoria
    • Records, 1875-1949. [manuscript].

Related entries

  • Related Women
    • O'Connell, Maude (1884 - 1965)
  • Affiliated
    • Macartney, Jane (1803 - 1885)