A History of Dromkeen
At the turn of the century, Dromkeen was the home of Judge Arthur Chomley, who presided over the County and Supreme Courts of Victoria.
His country estate, built in 1889, was named ‘Dromkeen’ to maintain a connection with his mother’s family home at Tipperary in Ireland.
In 1973, Dromkeen was purchased by Joyce and Court Oldmeadow. They used the homestead as a private residence and as a bulk store and freight centre for their educational bookshop.
Before long their love and interest in children’s literature led to the establishment of the Dromkeen Collection, and Joyce and Court's house became a home for Australian children’s literature.
Joyce and Court Oldmeadow dedicated their lives to preserving for public display the original artwork and manuscripts of Australian children’s literature, many of which had hitherto been lost or destroyed. Passionate in their desire to inspire children with the creative processes of children’s books in the making, they also wished to preserve this unique part of Australia’s heritage as a ‘living’ collection for everyone to enjoy.
Court Oldmeadow died in 1977, and in 1978 Scholastic Australia took over the responsibility of maintaining the Collection.
Joyce Oldmeadow continued to develop Dromkeen. In 1982, she inaugurated the Dromkeen Medal, which is awarded annually to an Australian citizen whose work has significantly contributed to the appreciation and development of children's literature.
To guarantee a permanent home for the Collection, Scholastic Australia purchased the homestead in 1985.
Joyce Oldmeadow died in 2001. Son John Oldmeadow continues his parents' legacy as the present Director of Dromkeen.
Scholastic's involvement fulfils Joyce and Court Oldmeadow's dream that the Dromkeen Children's Literature Collection should be available for children and adults alike as a constant source of enjoyment and inspiration.