Welcome to Dunlea Centre - Australia’s Original Boys’ Town

Dunlea Centre's Latest news

JOB VACANCIES: click here

We have officially changed our name to the Dunlea Centre, in recognition of our girls program and the fact that our service is no longer exclusively for boys. We are very excited about this new era of service delivery for Australia's original Boys' Town, which is one of Sydney's longest standing and most respected charities.

Tips for Top Parenting
  • Listen to what your child says.
  • Talk and problem solve together.
  • Allow mistakes, especially your own, but theirs too.
  • Have clear and high behaviour expectations.
  • Be consistent in applying consequences.
  • Maintain boundaries and routines but allow some choices within.
  • Talk about a crisis afterwards, when there is calm.
  • Know your own buttons and pick your battles.
  • Never ask a child to do what you are not prepared to do.
  • See the joy and positives in your child and tell them often.
Family Preservation and Restoration
St John Bosco is the Founder of the Salesian Society of Priests and Brothers who, since 1952, have been responsible for the work of Boys' Town Engadine. Click here for more info

At Dunlea Centre families in crisis receive special attention so that they can remain intact and deal with difficult issues.

Many families get help through Dunlea Centre's intensive residential program that lasts for 6-12 months. Our young people return home on weekends to practice the things they have learned. The main carers attend counselling sessions every two weeks and each family establishes a set of goals they wish to achieve.

As an agency Dunlea Centre incorporates therapy, education and family support with an end goal of Family Preservation and Restoration wherever possible.

The Salesian “Preventive System” lies at the heart of Dunlea Centre, influencing, animating and directing all interactions with the boys and girls.

Dunlea Centre - Australia's Original Boys' Town is also registered as a Year 7-10 school and so young people whose experience of mainstream schooling has been unsatisfactory get a chance to learn in a supportive atmosphere.

The Salesian model of Behaviour Management Intervention is inspired by the work of Don Bosco with Italian street kids and was given a local focus by Fr Tom Dunlea with Australian children.

It is built upon a platform of eight planks – presence, preventive, plan, professional, positive, personal, parental involvement and play. It is based on a fundamental belief and hope in the ability of all young people to change.

One aspect of each young person’s plan is the transition back to the societal mainstream.

Included too is the provision of opportunities for individual teachers and school staff to improve behavioural management practice through professional development experiences developed by Dunlea Centre.

In addition to its core Family Preservation and Restoration residential program for troubled young people, Dunlea Centre is currently working on a number of other projects to respond to the needs of young people. Currently around 200,000 Australian teenagers are not in education or work. There is an urgent need to support these young people, many of whom are in crisis.