Diamantina Orphanage Reserve

Diamantina Orphanage Reserve

Stage Number: MBSH.02.01.06

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: Dutton Park-South Woolloongabba-Buranda

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: 119 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba

Latitude & Longitude: -27.5005,153.03319444

Time Link: 1883

Map Link: 1884

Image Time Point: 1884

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The Diamantina Orphanage opened in 1883, and children were transferred there from the previous Diamantina Orphanage in Roma Street (1865). Despite the new buildings, an 1892 report found that children at the orphanage were merely ‘passing through’ on their way to being boarded out, and that older girls who had been hired out as domestic servants were returned ‘to undergo a course of punishment. At the time, there were 35 ‘inmates’ aged under 12 years there. The orphanage was closed in 1893, the reserve was divided to provide 24 acres for hospital purposes, and shortly after it was declared a temporary ‘hospital for the insane’ and used for patients transferred from the Goodna Lunatic Asylum. In 1897 the building was used as an ‘asylum for incurables, including persons in the last stage of consumption’. Then in October 1899 it became the ‘Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys’ and the boys previously held at Lytton Reformatory were transferred there. These institutions were established to keep criminal boys under the age of 18 years away from the hardening influence of adult prisoners. The Diamantina Reformatory closed in May 1900 when the boys were moved to the ‘Westbrook Experimental Farm’ near Toowoomba. The buildings later formed the Diamantina Hospital, and the Princess Alexandra Hospital now covers the former orphanage reserve.


Brisbane Courier, 28 November 1883; The Queenslander, 13 February 1892; Queensland State Archives Agency ID11372, Diamantina Reformatory School for Boys; The Telegraph, 21 October 1899, 14 May 1900; The Week, 27 October 1899.

Image Citations

Formal gardens at the Diamantina Hospital for Chronic Diseases, Woolloongabba, c.1925. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Record number. 47276.

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 5 chains to the inch. City of Brisbane. 5 chains to the inch. Government Engraving, and Lithographic Office, Brisbane.. 634496