• Archival Series

Case Files of Persons Examined

To access these records

Please contact the Information Coordination and Strategy Unit, Department of Health and Human Services:

Address: GPO Box 125, Hobart TAS 7001

Email: pipapplications@health.tas.gov.au

Website: http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/about_the_department/your_rights/accessing_personal_information

Reference Number

Quote this number to access your records: Tasmanian Archives Series Number, AA8

Records Location

These records are held by Tasmanian Archives (2011 - current).


The Case Files of Persons Examined by the State Psychological Clinic contain a great deal of information about the children and adults examined by the Clinic. Files that are older than 75 years are on open access and the names of the individuals concerned are listed on the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office website.

Access Conditions

Closed D75 years
D75 means these records are closed to the general public for 75 years from the date of the last entry in them. People wishing to access these records should contact Mental Health Services at the Department of Health and Human Services. Applicants will be required to fill out a Personal Information Protection (PIP) form. Staff at the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office may be able to assist you in finding other relevant records.


Each file may include:

  • A certificate of examination that shows the diagnosis.
  • A synopsis of the overall results of the examination, including name, age, school, and names of parents.
  • Results of a physical examination.
  • The results of the psychological examination with some information about behaviour.
  • Family history, including brothers and sisters with names and ages, the father’s occupation, family illnesses or disabilities.
  • A personal and developmental history.
  • Social history, including information about home life, social interactions, interests, and character.
  • Educational history, including the name of the school, age that the child started and educational records of brothers and sisters.

Children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities may not have had them as it is understood today. Challenging behaviour, inadequately managed physical disabilities such as deafness, educational disadvantage, an institutional upbringing, and poverty, neglect or abuse could all lead to an examination by the State Psychological Clinic. In particular, it examined a number of wards of state and other children who were raised in institutions. This makes the Case Files of Persons Examined by the State Psychological Clinic a potentially useful resource for Care Leavers.

However, the language used in the files is disturbing. At the time they were written, eugenics had a considerable influence. Its acceptance as a science made it all right to use this language. In 2014, we would consider it demeaning and insulting.

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