• Archival Item

Boy Farm Apprenticeship Scheme South Australia

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Please contact General Enquiries, National Archives of Australia:

Postal Address: PO Box 4924, Kingston, ACT 2604

Phone: (02) 6212 3600

Email: archives@naa.gov.au

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Reference Number

Quote this number to access your records: National Archives of Australia Reference Number, A458, V154/11

Records Location


Boy Farm foster care into placements with employers once they were too old to attend school.">Apprenticeship Scheme South Australia is a file held by the National Archives of Australia. This file informs us about the attitudes in the 1920s towards youth migration between South Australia and Britain. Quantity: 11 pages.

Access Conditions


This record is open but not digitised.


Premier, South Australia to Prime Minister, 9 August 1927:

I desire to inform you, in connection with the migration policy of this Government, it is proposed to reintroduce the Boy Farm Apprenticeship Scheme [for 15-17 year olds].

The Premier requested that the Commonwealth migration authorities in the UK commence recruiting suitable young men, but he stressed that medical inspection must be strict; must exclude boys ‘subject to urinary troubles’. There were many such cases in the past; ‘very great inconvenience’. Boys from certain named institutions in the UK were ‘previously very unsatisfactory’. In addition, the boys should not be led to expect too much in South Australia. The Development and Migration Commission took up matters stressing that the farm apprenticeship would be three years; and while noting that wages had increased it also stressed the need for a strict medical examination of intending youth migrants: ‘the teeth and urinary organs’ were to receive close attention; boys wearing glasses were not acceptable. A further memorandum from South Australia stressed that each successful applicant would be provided with a ‘Big Brother’ on arrival, and insurance (against accidents and sickness) and after-care were to be features of the scheme. This file says much about attitudes in the 1920s to youth migration. Quantity: 11 pages.

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