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New South Wales - Archival Series

Record Cards of Aboriginal Children (1953 - 1966)

Reference No
Legal Status
State Records Authority of New South Wales Series Number

Record Cards of Aboriginal Children is a series of records held by Museums of History NSW (State Archives). The cards were created by the Aborigines Welfare Board about Aboriginal children in New South Wales. There are two types of card in this series - the Aboriginal Child Record Card, and the Aborigines' Record Card - which both contain details about individuals. The cards in this series relate to only six people. Several of the cards in this series are marked as having copies sent to Kinchela or Cootamundra Training Homes, suggesting that the individuals the cards are about may have been sent to those Homes.


Access conditions

Due to the sensitive nature of these records access is restricted. Persons wishing to view these records must first contact the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.


Please be aware that these cards use language that is derogatory and offensive, and is unnacceptable today. The language used on these cards is a reflection of the attitudes, assumptions, and judgements made about Aboriginal people at the time of their creation. We have reproduced some of that language here in order to place the records in their historical context, and provide an accurate description of them.

The first set of cards in this series, the Aboriginal Child Record Cards, contain the following information: child's name, if the Aborigines Welfare Board had assumed "control" of them, date and reason for the "control", Homes admitted to, discharge dates, education and training received, health, conduct and character, training and progress, date of appointment to apprenticeships, and file number. The reverse side of these cards contain information about the movement of the child, e.g. Homes they were sent to or people they were boarded with, dates of inspections made on the child, observation notes and other general remarks.

The second set of cards, the Aborigines' Record Cards contain the following information: individual's names, "caste" & "colour shade" (please note that this is the language used on the cards), sex, date of birth, place of birth, religion, parent's names, details of marriage (often including information on siblings), details of children (including names, dates and place of birth), date and place of death and burial if applicable, and notes on the individual's character and habits. The reverse of these cards includes general information about occupation, places of employment, movements, and where children of this individual have been placed in 'care'.

This series only contains cards for six individuals. Most of these individuals had both types of cards created about them.

Related Organisations

Prepared by: Constance Thurley-Hart