• Archival Series

Aborigines Welfare Board Photographs

To access these records

Please contact the State Archives and Records Authority of New South Wales:

Postal Address: PO Box 516, Kingswood NSW 2747

Phone: (02) 9673 1788

Email: info@records.nsw.gov.au

Website: http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/contact-us/contact-us/

Reference Number

Quote this number to access your records: State Records Authority of New South Wales Series Number, 30


The Aborigines Welfare Board Photographs are images of Aboriginal people, numbering approximately 1000, and are a mixture of official and personal photographs. The photographs of an official nature show reserves, stations, homes and schools with interior and exterior views of accommodation and housing projects; pupils and teachers; station managers; and matrons. They also record the visits of Government officials.

Access Conditions

Open to public access. Permission is required from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to reproduce the images.


The photographs of people range from formal studio portraits (mainly female wards in the 1920s) to snapshots in the 1950s and 1960s. They show Aboriginal children and adults participating in many activities, such as football, basketball, cricket, swimming, gardening; attending school, christenings, first communions, weddings, birthday and Christmas parties; on excursions; gatherings of families and friends; and visiting Luna Park. The female wards were often photographed in their domestic service uniforms, sometimes with their employers or employers’ children; some are photographed in studio portraits.

The photographs were taken all over New South Wales at many reserves and stations, such as Purfleet (Taree), Walgett, Caroona (Quirindi), Condobolin, Burra Bee Dee, Nanima (Wellington), Tingha, Boggabilla, Bomaderry Children’s Home, Bimbadeen Girls Home at Cootamundra and Kinchela Boys Training Home. A small number of photographs taken in Queensland are also included. Many of the photographs are undated and unidentified.

Please note that the original photographs are restricted for conservation reasons. Viewing positive microfilm copies of the photographs are on Reels 2796-2797; negatives for reproduction at Aperture Card numbers 8186-9224; and 35 mm viewing contact prints at COD 423.

Finding Aids

A database for searching these photographs was developed as part of the ‘In Living Memory’ exhibition at the Sydney Records Centre. Item lists for these records are not available electronically.

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