By Cathy Jones
’Ballina’, 80 Park Road Homebush was built in 1919. The land was owned by Albert Dodson, a builder. The applicant and builder was presumably Albert’s son Francis Dodson, a master builder of Homebush, who applied in October 1918 for approval to build a brick cottage with estimated construction cost of £600. The Dodson family were prolific local builders in Strathfield and Homebush. The Spanish Mission design of the house is a rare and unusual in Homebush of this period.
By March 1920, the building was constructed and ownership transferred to John Charybdis Scott, who named the house ‘Charybdis’. By 1924, ownership had transferred to Dr Thomas Connelly, a local medical practitioner. Connelly changed the name of the house to “Ballina”. By 1951, ownership transferred to Dr Joseph Buckley, who is listed as an owner until the late 1960s. The building has primarily been used as a medical surgery and residence throughout most of its history. The property was locally known as the ‘Doctor’s House’.
In 1977 the Bessie Smyth Foundation also known as the Powell Street women’s health clinic owned and operated from this property. The Clinic provided a range of women’s health services including abortion. The clinic was targeted by anti-abortion protestors often carrying placards and assembling near the entry to clinic. The Clinic closed in 2002 and was sold to the Marie Stopes Foundation, which also provided family planning and health services from this property until its closure.
The address of the house changed in 1994 from 80 Wentworth Road Homebush to 80 Park Road due to the construction of the M4 freeway which changed the street alignments.
The house has since been strata titled into units with additional units constructed at the rear of property facing Powell Street.
Baird, B., 2014, ‘Abortion’, The Encyclopaedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth Century Australia, viewed at http//:www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/biogs/WLE0028b.htm
Department of the Valuer General NSW – Valuation List – Valuation District of Homebush , 1924, 1926, 1928, 1932
Department of the Valuer General NSW – Valuation List – Valuation District of Strathfield 1957, 1960, 1966
Fox & Associates, Strathfield Heritage Study, 1986
Homebush Council Minutes
Homebush Council valuation lists 1919, 1920 (supplementary)