PO Box 55, Frankston Vic 3199

Menzies History

Menzies History

The Early Days

icon-2Menzies Inc developed from the ‘Ragged School Mission’ founded in inner-city Melbourne in 1865, which provided residential care to children from 1895. In the early 1900s, the Mission moved to Frankston and became known as the Minton Boys’ Home – after William Minton, who for many years provided food, care and shelter to children living on the city’s streets. Later, the organisation underwent another name change and became The Menzies Home for Boys. The name honoured Mr James Menzies (the father of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies), who was President of the Committee of Management for 20 years during a crucial period in the organisation’s development.

Until the sixties, Menzies was known for its ‘Home on the Hill’ – a large property on Oliver’s Hill in Frankston that housed all the children. As research on children’s care developed, large group housing was no longer seen as best practice. The Home on the Hill was sold in 1965, and a series of family group homes was established in Frankston and throughout the Mornington Peninsula.

Not So Fast Food
This is a typical Menzies menu from Friday 13 August 1926:

Breakfast: Porridge, bread and dripping, tea.

Dinner: Fish boiled, bread pudding

Tea: Bread and syrup, tea.


A few months later, the menu was amended to add eggs with bread (and butter or jam) on Mondays and Thursdays; cold meat and onions on Tuesdays; cold meat, onions, AND tomatoes on Saturdays; and cheese on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Extract from ‘One Thousand White Onions: A History of Menzies’, Shirley Davies, 2005

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