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Australian activist, Jim Luthy (b. circa 1951) was in foster care and a children’s home.

Jim Luthy never knew his father and his mother died when Jim was four years old. The boy was looked after in foster care until he was sent to the Salvation Army’s Gill Memorial Boys Home in 1965. In the home, called Gill by many, he suffered considerable “verbal, physical, emotional and psychological abuse” and witnessed such abuse against others (Thrower).

Jim Luthy was in Gill for three years. He later became an apprentice chef and had a successful career in hospitality until he decided to take up teaching.

Jim’s love of learning spurred him to complete a Bachelor of Education degree, as well as two Masters qualifications. He’s also completed several other degrees and taught in both secondary and tertiary settings.

Jim Luthy organises annual reunions at the former Gill home which operated in Goulburn, NSW, from 1936-1980. The reunions, he says, are important for those attending because they “are not judged”. Over the last twenty years or so he has also advocated for former residents including writing submissions to inquiries on their behalf.

He also promoted the idea that Goulburn Council install a commemorative garden and plaque at Victoria Park to remember the city’s orphanages and children’s homes.

Jim was influential in organising a formal apology in 2010 from the Salvation Army to those abused in their homes. Included in the apology was an acknowledgement by General Shaw Clifton of the role Jim Luthy had played in initiating the apology.

Jim has been a member of the Care Leavers Network of Australia (CLAN) since 2003. He was President of CLAN from 2010-2014.

In 2019 Jim Luthy was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of his community service.


“Gill Memorial Boys’ Home (1936 – 1980).” Find & Connect, 2011.

O’Neill, Cate. “Apology by the General of the Salvation Army General Shaw Clifton, to care leavers of Salvation Army homes (2010 – ).” Find & Connect, 2012.

Thrower, Louise. “Former Gill Memorial Boys Home boys reunite.” Goulburn Post, 15 September 2017.

Thrower, Louise. “Jim Luthy awarded with OAM.” Goulburn Post, 25 January 2019.

“Salvation Army victim told ‘abuse only happened in Australia,’ inquiry hears.” The Guardian, 3 April 2014. 

Image available here.