By Cathy Jones
‘Dunrobbin’ 52-54 Llandilo Avenue Strathfield was built in 1911 for Alexander Melville, an estate agent. Approval to construct this house was approved at a meeting of Strathfield Council in June 1911. The estimated value of the construction was £2,000. The house was built on the corner of Cotswold Road and Llandilo Avenue (then known as Blanche Street), Strathfield.
Alexander Melville was a real estate agent with premises in the City. He was first elected as an Alderman on Strathfield Council in 1925 and served until 1940. He was elected as Mayor in 1938-1939 and in 1939-1940. He died in 1940 after a six week illness, leaving behind his wife Amy (d.1967) and son Donald. Melville Street Strathfield and Melville Reserve Homebush West are named for him. A drinking fountain in Melville Reserve is dedicated to his memory.
In 1951, the house was purchased by the United Protestant Association of NSW as a home for children aged from birth to five years. It was known as the “Babies Home”. The home the ‘Adelaide Walker’ Children’s Home was named for the wife of Mr A E Walker, who donated £10,000 to purchase ‘Dunrobbin’ in May 1951. The home opened on the 10 November 1951 on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of United Protestant Association (UPA).
The home closed in 1980 and has since returned to private ownership.
Adelaide Walker Children’s Home, CLAN, viewed at https://clan.org.au/orphanages/adelaide-walker-childrens-home/
Department of Valuer-General, Valuation Lists, Municipality of Strathfield
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Jones, C, ‘Alexander Melville’, Strathfield Heritage website
OBITUARY (Alexander Melville). (1940, June 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17674617
The Methodist, Saturday 14 April 1951, page 4
Sands Sydney & Suburban Directory
Strathfield Council Building Register
Strathfield Council Valuation Lists