• Archival Collection

Records of Teresa Wardell

To access these records

Please contact the Archivist, University of Melbourne Archives:

Postal Address: Archives, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne VIC 3010

Phone: (03) 8344 6848 or (03) 8344 0590

Email: archives@archives.unimelb.edu.au

Website: https://archives.unimelb.edu.au/

Reference Number

Quote this number to access your records: University of Melbourne Archives Reference Number, 1986.0123

Records Location


Records of Teresa Wardell (Reference number 1986.0123) are held at the University of Melbourne Archives. Teresa Wardell was one of Victoria’s first trained social workers. The records date from 1866 to 1984 and include records from her work with Catholic Social Service Bureau, the Children’s Welfare Department, the United Nations and the University of Melbourne Social Work Department, and include correspondence, case files and cards relating to children in care at the Royal Park Depot.

Access Conditions

Some records are restricted. Restricted records contain personal, medical and/or sensitive information, and researchers may be required to meet special access conditions. This might include seeking permission from the person or organisation that created the records and in some cases University of Melbourne Archives will ask researchers to sign a Deed of Undertaking to protect people’s privacy.


There is an online finding aid to the Records of Teresa Wardell, available from the University of Melbourne Archives catalogue.

The Teresa Wardell records comprise sixteen boxes, which include material related to children at Royal Park. There are also records about her writing as an academic, her research into penal reform, adoption, and child welfare. Wardell sat on a number of committees, and the records also include minutes and notes from these, including the Children’s Welfare Department Children’s Welfare Advisory Panel and the Child and Family Committee.

Unit 4 (item number 1986.0123.00038, previously series 4/2) holds Department of Health, Children’s Welfare Department: Boys and Girls Depots, Royal Park: Correspondence, documents, notes, case cards, 1936-1953. There is an index of persons named in this file. These records are restricted.

Units 4-5 (item numbers 1986.0123.00046 and 1986.0123.00047) contain Children’s Welfare Department Case files. There are sixty-seven individual case files of girls (and one boy) who had been placed in institutional care. Teresa Wardell compiled them while she worked at the Boys’ and Girls’ Depot, Royal Park. There is an index of children named in these case files. These records are restricted.

Unit 5 also contains a handwritten report, “Specific Cases – Camp Pell”, November 1953. It records information about families living at the camp, referenced by surname. Includes duration of time at Camp Pell, number of children and age range and accounts of the camp relating to housing applications. No full names of children are included.

In Unit 3 (item number 1986.0123.00050) there is a report (author not noted, but probably Teresa Wardell) about the Elizabeth Fry Retreat for Wayward Girls, from December 1952.

Unit 11 (item number 1986.0123.00135, previously series 8/2) includes handwritten Child Endowment notes by Wardell, including names and case file numbers, c. 1958.

Unit 11 (item number 1986.0123.00129, previously series 7/39) includes correspondence and a report about the St Catherine’s Children’s Home, 1970-1973.

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