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Event Post-War Child Migration to Victoria (1949 - c. 1967)
- c. 1967
Estimates of the number of children sent to Australia after World War Two vary from 5,000 to 10,000. Most of these child migrants were sent to charitable and religious institutions. All of the child migrants destined for the state of Victoria came from Britain (other Australian states received migrants from Malta). The Director of the Children's Welfare Deparment was the legal guardian of child migrants, authorised by the Commonwealth legislation, Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946-1952.
In 1949, the Victorian government made funds available for church institutions to carry out building work in preparation for receiving child migrants. Grants were made to organisations including the Church of England Boys' Society, the Presbyterian Church Social Services Department, Kildonan in Burwood, and the Sisters of Nazareth. The state government (and the British government) would contribute to the upkeep of child migrants living in Victorian institutions.
The total number of child migrants who ended up in the state of Victoria is not clear. In the post-war period, between 1947 and 1953, Sherington and Jeffery state that Victoria received 232 child migrants from Britain. 83 of these went to the Northcote Farm School, 67 to Catholic institutions and 82 children to institutions managed by 'Other' denominations .
Interest in the little-known history of child migration to Australia, combined with the claims of abuse and mistreatment by former child migrants, led to the Inquiry into Child Migration in the Senate which tabled its report, 'Lost Innocents: Righting the Record - inquiry into child migration' in 2001.
In November 2009, the Prime Minister of Australia apologised to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
- Bean, Philip and Joy Melville, Lost children of the empire, Unwin Hyman, London; Sydney, 1989. Details
- Gill, Alan, Orphans of the Empire: the shocking story of child migration to Australia, Random House, 1996. Details
- Hill, David, The forgotten children : Fairbridge Farm School and its betrayal of Australia's child migrants, Random House, North Sydney, 2007. Details
- Humphreys, Margaret, Empty Cradles, Doubleday, Sydney, 1994. Details
- Lawrence, Jon; Starkey, Pat (ed.), Child welfare and social action in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: international perspectives, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, 2001. Details
- The Old Northcotian: magazine of the Old Northcotians' Association, Northcote Farm, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, vol. 3, no. 1-4, 1949-1951. Details
- 'Submission 169', in Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care: Submissions received by the committee as at 17/3/05, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/2004-07/inst_care/submissions/sublist.htm. Details
- Churches care for migrant orphans, The Argus, 5 February 1949, 15 pp, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22695737. Details
- Background note: child migrants from the United Kingdom, Commonwealth of Australia, 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/Pubs/BN/sp/ChildMigrants.htm. Details
- 'Listen to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants oral history interviews', National Library of Australia, 2010, http://www.nla.gov.au/digicoll/ListentotheForgottenAustralians.html. Details
- On their own: Britain's child migrants, Australian National Maritime Museum, 2010, http://www.britainschildmigrants.com/. Details
- Coldrey, Barry, Good British stock: child and youth migration to Australia, National Archives of Australia, 1999, http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/Publications/research_guides/guides/childmig/introduction.htm. Details
- Owen, Nigel, "Stolen innocence": memoirs of a child migrant, This website has extracts from Nigel Owen's memoirs, including the preface and Chapter One, which relates to Northcote Farm School., Child Migrants Compensation Trust, http://childmigrantscompensationtrust.beep.com/memoirs.htm. Details
- Rudd, Kevin, Address at the apology to the Forgotten Australians and former child migrants Great Hall, Parliament House, Transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's speech on the Prime Minister's website., Commonwealth of Australia, 16 November 2009, http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/110625/20091116-1801/www.pm.gov.au/node/6321.html. Details
- Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, Parliament of Australia, Lost Innocents: righting the record - report on child migration, Commonwealth of Australia, 30 August 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm. Details
- Turnbull, Malcolm, 'Malcolm Turnbull apology to Forgotten Australians', Transcript of the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP apology to Forgotten Australians, Great Hall, Parliament House in Canberra on 16 November 2009, The Australian, 16 November 2009, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/malcolm-turnbull-apology-to-forgotten-australians/story-e6frgczf-1225798266117. Details
- The Leaving of Liverpool
- National Film and Sound Archive
- Prime Minister says sorry
- 15 November 2009
- Posted on Youtube by NewsOnABC
- Australia apology over abuse in state shelters - 16 Nov 09
- 16 November 2009
- Al Jazeera
Sources used to compile this entry: Churches care for migrant orphans, The Argus, 5 February 1949, 15 pp, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22695737; Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, Parliament of Australia, Lost Innocents: righting the record - report on child migration, Commonwealth of Australia, 30 August 2001, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=clac_ctte/completed_inquiries/1999-02/child_migrat/report/index.htm.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 6 March 2009, Last modified: 28 October 2011