Julia Warren Farr

Julia Warren Farr was born on 14 August, 1824 in Essex, England, one of seven children of Major Sir Robert Hutchinson and Elizabeth (nee Balgrave). Her parents died when the children were quite young, and they were brought up by their uncle

In 1846, Julia married the Rev. George Henry Farr and they immigrated to Australia with their six year old daughter in 1854. The decision to move was precipitated by Julia’s health, which was affected by the cold, damp Cornwall climate. She was to regain her health in the warmer climate of Australia, and become one of South Australia’s most significant charity workers.

The Rev. Farr took up the position of Headmaster of the Collegiate School of St. Peter, and Julia assumed the responsibility of the students housed in the boarding school.

In 1860, being saddened by the plight of the girls in the Destitute Asylum, she organized a committee of Anglican men and women to establish a home where these orphans could live, learn skills and eventually find employment. The Orphan Home was opened in Carrington Street on 14 August, and later moved to more suitable premises at 588 Fullarton Road, Mitcham. Later, in 1935, it came to be known as Farr House.

After the Rev. Farr’s retirement in 1878, Julia turned her attention to people suffering incurable diseases and physical disabilities. A house was purchased in Fisher Street, Fullarton, where these people could be cared for. As the demand for accommodation grew, more buildings were added. In 1906, at the age of 82, Julia laid the foundation stone of a new wing. The home was originally named the “Home for Incurables”, but was renamed the “Julia Farr Centre” in 1981.

Julia Warren Farr passed away on 19 April, 1914 in her home at North Adelaide following a short illness. She was buried together with her husband, the Archdeacon Farr, in Plot 241, Path 14 South. Her headstone gives her year of birth as 1825, in contradiction with official biographies which state she was born in 1824.