The Industrial School for Boys at Riverview was opened in 1898 as a boys' reformatory. In 1926 it was changed from a reformatory to a farm training school for immigrant boys and local youths. (The Salvation Army was involved in child migration from Britain to Australia, chartering the vessel Vedic to transport emigrants on four separate occasions.) In 1927, the Queensland Government agreed to contribute half the yearly cost of the reception and resettlement expenses of 100 boys. This was to assist the Salvation Army in providing agricultural training at the Riverview farm.
The reformatory work was transferred to the government-run home at Westbrook, however the Industrial School reopened in 1935. In 1950 extensions to the training farm were completed. During the 1950s the Salvation Army Training Home for Boys at Riverview admitted 77 boys under the child migrant scheme. Only "child migrants" over 14 years of age were accepted,on account of the type of work involved at the training farm.
The Riverview Training Farm was licensed under The Children's Services Act on 4 August 1966.
In 1998, former residents of Riverview Training Farm made submissions to the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (widely known as the Forde Inquiry). The Committee reported on incidents of unsafe, improper and illegal treatment of children in Queensland institutions, including cases of sexual, physical, emotional and systems abuse. Its findings were detailed and explicit.
In January 2014, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commenced a public hearing into response of the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory) to child sexual abuse in children's Homes in Queensland and New South Wales, including the Riverview Training Farm. The evidence to be heard was to have a particular focus to the years 1966-1977, although the Royal Commission stated it expected to hear allegations dating back to as early as 1936.
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) holds many records which provide information of interest to former child migrants. The records relating to individual child and youth migrants are essentially those concerned with their entry into Australia rather than the day-to-day care once they had arrived. The NAA also holds a number of policy and administrative files which contain lists of names and other details of individual child or youth migrants. In some instances these may provide important material for genealogical research.
Contact the National Archives of Australia, Head Office,
Canberra ACT 2600:
Phone: (02) 6262 3600
The Batch File contains correspondence related to the immigration of boys from Britain to train in farming methods. It includes Salvation Army Emigration - Colonization Department correspondence, publications, and notes on the training farm, Riverview as well as lists of boys' names and where they were placed.
Queensland State Archives:
Phone: (07) 3131 7777
PO Box 1397, Sunnybank Hills QLD 4109
435 Compton Road, Runcorn QLD 4113
Any surviving records relating to institutions in Queensland run by the Salvation Army are now located in Sydney. Anyone interested in seeking information about their time in 'care', or a family member, should contact the Salvation Army's Eastern Territory office in New South Wales.
Historical Records researcher
Territorial Mission & Resource Team - Social
The Salvation Army
Australia Eastern Territory
(02) 9266 9559
29 January 2014
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/qld/QE00068
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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