History of Deaf Children Australia

In response to this letter, a deaf man, Frederick John Rose opened the School for the Deaf and Dumb in Peel Street, Prahran, Melbourne, on 12 November 1860. Mrs Lewis's daughter, Lucy, became the first student.

The collections, stories and information in this timeline is an organic representation of the history of Deaf Children Australia, as it is known today. Over time stories will be added and facts and figures updated. If you would like to make your own contribution we would love to hear from you. Go the Deaf Children Australia website and send an email through the Contact Us section.;xNLx;We hope you enjoy this trip into the past.

1852-04-05 08:15:35

Portsea

Frederick Rose built the Commandants residence at the Portsea Camp.

1859-02-16 09:36:00

The Argus

On 14 February 1859, Mrs Sarah Lewis wrote the following letter to the Melbourne Argus newspaper, "I too have a daughter, eight years of age, deaf and dumb from colonial fever, and if nothing can be done speedily in this colony I shall be put to the peril and danger of a sea voyage to get her educated in old England."

1860-02-14 09:36:00

A school was born

In response to this letter, a deaf man, Frederick J Rose opened the School for the Deaf and Dumb in Peel Street, Prahran, Melbourne, on 12 November.

1860-06-12 09:11:51

Rose and Moss

Mr Rose and Reverend William Moss became acquainted marking the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership.

1862-06-12 09:11:51

Humble beginnings

The school moved to more convenient premises in Henry Street Windsor.

1862-08-28 04:34:31

Public Meeting

A public meeting was held at the Melbourne Mechanics' Institute to inaugurate the organization and advocate its claims.

1863-01-01 09:11:51

Donations

Visits to country districts by the Touring Groups were undertaken.

1863-08-03 09:36:00

The first board of management

A Board of Management was formed to look after the best interests of deaf children and the name Victorian Deaf and Dumb Institution was adopted.

1863-09-04 09:11:51

First AGM

The first Annual Meeting was held in the Mechanics' Institute.

1864-01-01 14:58:09

Beginning 1864

There were 28 pupils on the roll and applications were still coming in.

1865-12-08 14:58:09

A new building

Messers. Crouch and Wilson were commissioned to prepare designs for the proposed building from the plans of internal requirements devised by Mr Rose.

1866-01-04 14:58:09

Building contract signed

The building contract was signed on January 4 1866.

1866-04-01 14:58:09

Stained Glass Window

In 1866 Ferguson and Urie were commissioned to install a three-light stained-glass window in the landing of the main staircase.

1866-10-27 14:58:09

Opening

The inaugural ceremony of the opening of the new building was conducted by the governor, His Excellency, the Hon Sir JHF Manners Sutton, KCB.

1868-12-08 14:58:09

Fountain

Mr Rose presented the committee with the fountain and pool at the front of the building, serving as a memorial to his generosity and thought.

1871-10-01 14:58:09

The north wing

The north wing of the building was completed, comprising dining hall, dormitory, assistant's dining room, workroom, lavatory, bathroom, clothes press, kitchen, scullery, laundries and pantries at a cost of 610 pounds.

1878-01-01 14:58:09

The oral system

The oral system was introduced by Mr E O Hutchison, a celebrated deaf teacher from England.

1878-10-01 14:58:09

Moss resigns

Reverend William Moss resigns as honorary secretary to accept the position of Superintendent of the Asylum and School for the Blind. He later died at home on March 14, 1891.

1882-01-01 14:58:09

New Headmaster

Mr Samuel Johnston, a trained teacher from Claremont Deaf and Dumb Institution in Dublin was appointed. He became Headmaster in 1882, and so ended the Rose teaching period. Samuel Johnston married Mabel Stokes, Assistant Teacher in 1887.

1890-12-31 12:46:37

Mrs Rose resigns

Mrs Rose resigns as matron of the school.

1891-06-30 12:46:37

Mr Rose retires

After 30 years as Headmaster, Superintendent and Founder of the Deaf and Dumb Institution, Frederick J Rose retires.

1910-02-01 12:46:37

The Amending Education Act 1910

The amending Education Act, 1910, which contained clauses making the education of deaf children compulsory, was passed.

1910-08-17 03:43:27

Alexander Graham Bell

Dr Alexander Graham Bell, inventor and educator, visits the school.

1913-02-14 09:36:00

Department of Education

After years of self funding, the Education Department finally agreed to accept responsibility for the education of deaf children and took on the employment of the teaching staff within the school. We retained responsibility for the provision of education support services and the residential care of students.

1920-04-05 08:15:35

Ernest Abraham & FJ Rose

One of the earliest pieces of footage of sign language being used in the world is captured in this short film. This was filmed shortly before Rose passed away.

1927-02-14 09:36:00

New building

The education department, with the permission of the Board of Management, erected a school building at 597 St Kilda Road.

1942-10-01 14:58:09

World War II

The Institution moved to Marysville and were housed in Mary-Lyn.

1947-07-01 14:58:09

Past student Brian Bernal

Brian Bernal was enrolled for the first time in the Victorian School for Deaf Children in 1944 then again in 1947. Watch the video to see how he reflects on his time at the school.

1948-02-01 09:36:00

Past Student Greg Culpitt

Greg Culpitt was enrolled in the Victorian School for Deaf Children in 1948. Watch the video to see how he reflects on his time at the school.

1949-01-01 14:58:09

Name change

Name changed from Victorian Deaf and Dumb Institution to Victorian School for Deaf Children.

1950-04-05 08:15:35

New school

In response to the call for an 'oral' education for deaf children, VSDC built and operated the Princess Elizabeth Kindergarten (later known as Princess Elizabeth Junior School) for Deaf Children.

1950-11-12 09:36:00

PEJS

In response to the call for an 'oral' education for deaf children, we built and operated the Princess Elizabeth Kindergarten. Some eight years later, the Education Department was again persuaded to accept responsibility for the salary of teachers.

1955-01-31 14:58:09

Valerie Saulle (nee Peters)

Valerie Saulle was enrolled in the Victorian School for Deaf Children in 1955. Watch the video to see how she reflects on her time at the school.

1960-11-12 09:36:00

Centenary 1960

The centenary of the commencement of deaf education in Victoria was celebrated on 12 November.

1960-11-12 12:46:37

Centenary

The centenary of the commencement of deaf education in Victoria was celebrated on 12 November.

1962-08-28 09:36:00

100th AGM

The 100th Annual General Meeting was held on 28 August.

1968-02-01 09:36:00

Robyn Womersley

Robyn Womersley shares her story and experiences of her career as a teacher, welfare worker, board member and president.

1972-02-01 09:36:00

Benefactors

Deaf Children Australia has been able to support many deaf children and their families through a range of monetary packages.

1973-02-01 09:36:00

Benefactors

The Nelson-Brook Trust originally consisted of two capital sums totally approximately $140,000.

1973-02-01 09:36:00

Benefactors

The Tye Estate is a trust fund which has DCA and RVIB (Vision Australia) as its equal benefactors.

1982-02-01 09:36:00

New name

The name changed to Victorian School for Deaf Children Inc. to differentiate itself from the school of the same name.

1983-02-01 03:43:27

Accommodation Program

A decision was made to phase out boarding school style accommodation in favour of family group homes.

1983-02-01 08:15:35

Accommodation services

A decision was made to phase out boarding school style accommodation in favour of family group homes.

1995-02-01 09:36:00

Site guarantee

The Board renovated school buildings on the St Kilda Road site in return for a Victorian State Government guarantee of maintaining the operation of its school for the next thirty years. The school was opened as the Victorian College for the Deaf (VCD).

1996-02-01 05:12:51

New name

To more clearly define our role as a state-wide service provider, our name changes to VSDC Inc - Services for Deaf Children.

1998-02-01 09:36:00

Refurbishment complete

The Australian Governor General, Sir William Deane, re-opened the bluestone building following extensive restoration and refurbishment.

2002-02-01 09:36:00

Aurora School

Our partnership with the Victorian Education Department for the provision of the Princess Elizabeth Junior School facilities concluded.

2003-02-01 08:15:35

New name

In response to the growing need for our services across Australia a decision was made to establish ourselves as a national entity, becoming Deaf Children Australia.

2004-02-01 03:43:27

Expansion of services

Deaf Children Australia was formally launched and our first interstate office opened in South East Queensland.

2004-03-01 03:43:27

The present

Today, Deaf Children Australia offers services to children Australia-wide. We are still strong in our mission to help deaf and hard of hearing children overcome barriers. We look back on the past 150 years with pride and look forward to helping many more deaf children in the future.

History of Deaf Children Australia

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