Mary MacKillop: King William Street South Orphanage

The St Vincent de Paul's Orphanage for Catholic children was established at Walkerville in 1866. By 1868, issues of overcrowding saw the need for expansion. Accommodation was found at the southern end of King William Street. The Sisters of St Joseph took charge of this branch, accepting 30 children from the Walkerville orphanage. They attended the Wakefield Street School. Unfortunately, like Pelham Cottage, the location of this orphanage is now unknown.

Initially, the Sisters cared for girls only but, by mid-1868, continuous overcrowding had made it necessary for the boys from Walkerville to be placed under the Sisters’ care as well. Therefore, the orphanage relocated to a large house believed to have been on the corner of Gray Street and Franklin Street. This was eventually demolished. The orphanage remained there until 1872 when it was moved to the suburb of Mitcham.