Sancta Maria Orphanage

Sancta Maria Orphanage is owned by a family who have a wonderful and vast history with caring for children. The family no longer runs the children’s home as it has closed, however are still involved today with assisting adoptees in filling in pieces of their time spent in the their care.

Caroline and Bela are two people who dedicated their lives, along with many others, to the running of the home. With assistance from their now adult daughter Brigitte, adoptees are able to make personal contact with the family to seek a better understanding of the role they all played in adoptees lives. Brigitte will happily work with adoptees and her parents to answer any queries adoptees have.

Part of the original city property is still owned by the family, which includes the chapel and a multi-storey building. Some family and adult orphans live there today along with other private residents. Adoptees are able to visit the buildings, though due care and respect should be given to the current people living there today.

There are some very old record books that document part of the history, though as with many things, the true wealth of knowledge lies within the personal histories of individuals. Brigitte is certainly one of these people. So with a great deal of pleasure I invite adoptees from Sancta Maria to make contact with Brigitte, and acquaint or re-acquaint themselves with their Vietnamese carers.

For all enquiries to do with Sancta Maria Orphanage please email Brigitte on:

For current info on Sancta Maria you can also contact adopted Vietnamese Sue Bylund

Thank you.


Sancta Maria Orphanage Records CD Archive

He had access to the ‘Old Birth Registers at the Orphanage, which were safely preserved by Andre`. This included records and photos of most of the former orphans and the 1,077 Birth Registrations from the 40 year old Birth Registers to CD, along with the accompanying Photos and ‘Remarks’ This CD was developed by Kim Blackwell and for more information on how to access the current EXCEL version in 2018 (updated kindly by Peter Hendy) you can contact Sue Bylund


Note: Peter Hill has passed away. He was a Vietnam veteran who became married to Trinh, a Vietnamese family member who is a descendant of Andre` of the former Sancta Maria Orphanage. His wife has kindly requested adoptees to no longer use his former email. Posted 2018.


Sancta Maria Orphanage Photos

There are a number of photos of the orphanage from the past and from the present that former Sancta Maria orphanage residents / adoptees have posted on the AVI FB group. To  access join at

Heart of Stone

Hoa Stone, former Sancta Maria Orphanage now has an amazing book called ‘Heart of Stone‘ and does important work back in Vietnam.


Copies of Old Newspaper Articles

War orphans or related stories are at:


Life at Sancta Maria Orphanage

Andre, Ty (1997) On My Brothers Shoulder, South Australia: Wakefield Press A book about life in the Sancta Maria Orphanage up until 1975, written by a former resident.  The book includes photos of the orphanage from 1966 to 1975 and then from 1995 when Ty Andre returned to visit his past and make a documentary film.  Ty Andre is a Vietnamese orphan born in 1952 and who lived in the Sancta Maria Orphanage until 1975, when he joined Operation Babylift as one of the oldest orphans and arrived in Australia.

Book Orders: Wakefield Press, Po Box 2266, Kent Town, South Australia, 5071