Talbot Colony for Epileptics (1907–61)


  • Auspice:  Non-Denominational 
  • Title or Name:  Talbot Colony for Epileptics (1907–58)Royal Talbot Colony for Epileptics (1958–61),Royal Talbot Centre (1962–70),Royal Talbot General Rehabilitation Hospital (1970–88),Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre (1988–current)
  • Address:  Clayton, 1 Yarra Boulevard, Kew

Talbot Colony for Epileptics history in brief

In 1907, the Talbot Colony for Epileptics opened in Clayton. In 1958, the facility celebrated its half-century birthday, allowing the use of ‘Royal’ in its title.

In 1959, the state government offered 58 acres of land between Yarra Boulevard and the Chandler Highway, Kew, in exchange for the land at Clayton for Monash University.

In 1961, the state government finished building new modern facilities, and 37 patients were transferred from Clayton to Kew. In 1962, the name was changed to Royal Talbot Centre for those suffering from seizures as well as other people with disabilities. Soon after, the centre started assisting major public hospitals by taking groups of orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory cases, still including some people with epilepsy.

In 1969 it adopted the title ROYTAL. In 1970, a new convalescent ward of 60 beds was built and the name was changed to Royal Talbot General Rehabilitation Hospital.

Today, the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre is one of the three facilities that constitute Austin Health.

Warning about distressing information

This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience. Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria.  If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.


Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see Find & Connect .



List of records held by the department

PLEASE NOTE: Patients could be admitted to a Receiving House for short-term treatment and care, but were not permitted to remain longer than two months. 
Patients still needing treatment after two months could be sent to a Psychiatric Hospital, in the same institution/complex or another. Hence, there could be more than one set of records for any one person. Please check each location for former patient records.

Voluntary children's home  (c.1930–c.1985)

File;  Permanent (VPRS Number 18069/P0002)

Collection: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government.

This filing system was created in 1975, combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with ‘VH’ prefixes.

The specific file relating to the Royal Talbot Colony for Epileptics is dated 1942 to 1964 and includes:

File VH 092 78:

  • the Talbot Colony for Epileptics, Mason Meadows, Clayton, Victoria; copies of application form for a child, c.1940s
  • reports, annual inspection of the colony, some including names of wards, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1949, 1956
  • correspondence regarding payments for wards, including names of some wards, 1946
  • correspondence regarding a ward, 1957
  • copy of an admission form, c.1960s
  • correspondence regarding policy of the Royal Talbot Centre (prior to the move from Clayton to Kew their objectives were changed to: ‘The cure, care, treatment, rehabilitative training and occupation of persons suffering from epilepsy and other disabled or handicapped persons’), 1963
  • copy of booklet, Royal Talbot Centre for Rehabilitation, 1963
  • correspondence regarding present policies and procedures (Talbot Colony for Epileptics, moves into ‘general rehabilitation’), 1964. 

Reviewed 26 August 2016