Childhood Sexual and/or Physical Abuse

Salvation Army Eden Park Boys Home Has A Dark History

MKF Lawyers

Salvation Army Eden Park Boys Home Has A Dark History



Salvation Army Eden Park Boys Home Has A Dark History

Childhood Sexual and/or Physical Abuse


Salvation Army Eden Park Boys Home Has A Dark History

If you were a resident at Eden Park Boys Home before it closed at the end of 1982 you should speak to MKF Lawyers for advice regarding your entitlement to compensation, even if you have previously settled your claim with the Salvation Army.

This home located near Wistow (close to Mount Barker) in the Adelaide Hills had a notorious history when operated by the Salvation Army. Some boys were placed there as Wards of the State and others were placed there by other agencies or their parents for various reasons.

The home had a long driveway leading to a grand 17 room mansion. It also operated a commercial dairy with boys required to help during their placement at the home.

The dark history of the home featured in the Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry published in March 2008, conducted by former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mullighan QC.

These are some excerpts from the publication:

Eden Park…provided care for the boys deemed the most vulnerable in society. Boys at Eden Park were commonly referred to as ‘uncontrollable’, ‘sub-normal’ or ‘severely emotionally disturbed’.

Generally boys performed tasks such as milking, wood chopping and other general work.

The separation between the government and the institution occurred as a result of sexual abuse at the home during 1940 and 1941. The management style and culture of the home, as well as some individuals and particular practices, became the subject of complaints and inquiries. Investigations revealed an ongoing reliance on physical punishment at the home and a culture of older boys taking advantage of younger boys.

In 1970 the department became aware that a former Eden Park staff member had approached solicitors because he was ‘gravely concerned about some aspects of the home’. The allegations concerned a small ‘lock up room’ with no light or windows that was used for punishment, and a staff member who regularly carried a leather strap he ‘used as a matter of routine on the children’”

Eden Park was closed on 31 December 1982. By that time there was no doubt that there had been many complaints of children being excessively physically punished, locked in a small room and sexually abused either by other children or the staff members themselves.

A staff member of the home, Keith Ellis was sentenced to 16 years prison in 2009 after being convicted of sexually assaulting 4 boys at the home.

As a result of legislation passed in South Australia, there is no longer any time limit for bringing a claim for serious physical abuse and/or sexual abuse. Furthermore, the law regarding an institution being liable for the criminal conduct of their employees was strengthened by the High Court in 2016.

If you have previously settled a claim against an institution like Eden Park Boys home, you can now apply to set aside that settlement and negotiate a higher settlement or proceed to trial on more favourable terms.

You cannot proceed if you have received a payment from the National Redress Scheme.

MKF Lawyers offer no win, no fee for serious physical abuse and/or sexual abuse compensation claims.  Contact us for legal advice regarding a new claim or regarding your entitlement to further compensation by telephone on 08 7093 2998 or by email at