A Big Heart at the Centre of Kennerley’s 150th Birthday Celebrations

Media Release: Thursday, August 15, 2019

Tasmanian author and historian Elizabeth Fleetwood epitomises the generosity and community spirit being celebrated this year as part of Kennerley Children’s Homes 150th birthday celebrations.

Kennerley CEO Andrea Sturges said Elizabeth donated her time to research and write the book, officially launched today called A Big Heart.

“150 years is a very long time to be caring for vulnerable children, and we are proud of this achievement and we wanted to make sure that the history and stories of people integral to the Kennerley family were told,” Ms Sturges said.

“The vision of the founder of the home, former lord mayor and premier-elect Alfred Kennerley is alive and well and we are still needed today, as much as we were 150 years ago,” she said.

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According to A Big Heart’s author Elizabeth Fleetwood, volunteers, local businesses and community organisations all provided vital support to keep Kennerley running and the children fed, clothed and educated.

“There were tough times but the community pulled together to support the home, when it was in West Hobart housing boys, and continues to do so now with family-based care for all children,” Elizabeth said.

Kennerley Kids is a private not-for-profit foster care provider run by a volunteer board. It is Tasmania’s oldest and largest private not-for-profit provider of foster care for children. It has around 100 children – 0-18 years in its programs.

As part of the celebration of its 150th birthday, Kennerley today handed over its historic records, ledgers, and photos from its first 50 years (1869-1919) to the State Archives so that they are preserved for future generations. Included in the handover is the first log of the first admission to the home.

“It’s important that this history is preserved. The State Archives will scan it all and we will get it back electronically and the State will have the originals forever. Once the first 50 years is completed, we will handover the remainder,” Ms Sturges said.


Released by:  Keryn Nylander, Nylander Consulting  Tel.  0418 996 536


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