Conditional Access - Former residents (and their families) can contact the Heritage and Information Service at MacKillop Family Services to gain access to records. The Heritage and Information Service recommends people contact them through the Records Enquiry Form on the website.
MacKillop Family Services holds more than 115,000 individual records relating to children and mothers who were in institutions run by the Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of St Joseph. The collection dates from 1857 onwards, and includes client admission registers, admission cards and paper files. In addition to the client records, the Archives contain more than 15,000 photographic images, individual sets of annual reports, newspaper cuttings, policy documents and various items of memorabilia.
Records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by the Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of St Joseph were transferred to MacKillop Family Services in 1997. While custodianship of the records about people in 'care' became the responsibility of MacKillop Family Services at this point, it was formally agreed that the intellectual property in these records would not change hands.
There is also a series of Baltara 'Reception/Receiving House files' at MacKillop - contents include proforma sheets, visitor records, mail in and out records and the assessment history of the child whilst at Baltara. These files appear to have come with the young person, when they left Baltara to go to their placement at the Home (St Vincents or St Augustines). The exact dates of this series is not known at this stage, but they are thought to be pre-1980s records. NOTE: most Baltara files are held by the Department of Human Services.
Former residents should be aware that many record sets are incomplete. In the past, there were not legislative requirements for the non-government sector to keep records indefinitely. In many cases, because the institutions like the orphanages listed here no longer exist, and they were not legally bound to keep records indefinitely, the historical records are no longer available. Regrettably, some information has simply been destroyed or lost over time.
30 May 2018
Cite this: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000691
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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