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New South Wales - Legislation

Community Welfare Act 1987 (1987 - )

  • Community Welfare Act 1987

    Community Welfare Act 1987, courtesy of Parliamentary Counsel's Office, New South Wales Government.

Principal Act

The Community Welfare Act 1987 (52/1987) was a significant revision of existing child welfare legislation and the Community Welfare Act 1982. It followed a number of Reports and Inquiries around Australia and the world. It is the Act that controls the functions of the Minister for community welfare and social development and some of the functions of the Department. It came as part of a block of legislation, with the Child (Care and Protection) Bill and the Children's Court Act 1987. This legislation has been Amended many times. In 2015 this legislation was current.


The Community Welfare Act 1987 was passed after the Miscellaneous Acts (Community Welfare) Repeal and Amendment Act 1987 cleared away existing child welfare legislation.

According to 'To Remove and Protect', the objects of this legislation had positive benefits for Aboriginal children in child welfare systems. This Act included clauses intended to promote the welfare of Aborigines on the basis of a recognition of Aboriginal culture, identity, community structures and standards, the rights of Aborigines to raise and protect their own children and to be involved in decision-making processes that affect them and their children. It enshrined the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.


Online Resources


Community Welfare Act 1987
Community Welfare Act 1987
Parliamentary Counsel's Office, New South Wales Government


Sources used to compile this entry: Lawlink, 'The Children's Court of New South Wales: Timeline of Major Events 1905-2011', in History of the Children's Court, Lawlink, Lawlink NSW, 2012,; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998,; To Remove and Protect, New South Wales: Legislation, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies,

Prepared by: Liam Hogan and Naomi Parry