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New South Wales - Organisation

Barnardos Australia (c. 1995 - )

c. 1995
Adoption Agency, Care Provider, Foster Care, Non Government Organisation, Non-denominational, Records Access Service and Records Holder

Barnardo's Australia came into being around 1995. It was formerly known as Dr Barnardos in Australia. It provides a wide range of child welfare and family services in New South Wales including children's family centres, permanency programs for 'out-of-home' care, including adoption, adolescent services and advocacy work.


Barnardo's is a not-for-profit non-government organisation. The organisation takes its direction from the work of its founder, Dr Thomas Barnardo, who set up some of the first child welfare institutions in the United Kingdom.

Barnardos' work in Australia began in the early 1920s, when Dr Barnardo's agencies in the UK sent their first child migrants to Australia. From the 1950s Barnardo's added a range of schemes to assist children, families and young people. Barnardo's stopped its involvement with child migration by the 1970s and its website states that it now recognises the destructive effects of child migration and has worked with the Child Migrants Trust to support former child migrants.


Barnardos Aftercare Services for ex-child migrants is operated through Barnardos' Head Office at Bay St. Barnardos recognises its responsibility to adults who have been past clients of the agency and provides ongoing support, information and counselling.

Records information

  • Barnardos Australia holds files on Old Boys and Girls of Barnardos who migrated to Australia under the Child Migration Scheme and files of more recent ex-clients.
  • Barnardos UK holds files on young people who were in care in the UK. Copies of these files can be sent to Australia on request. Enquiries regarding former British Child Migrants can also be made through the National Council of Voluntary Care Organisations.

Welfare support

Barnardos Australia has a Welfare Director and an Aftercare Co-ordinator who deal with enquiries from ex-clients of Barnardos. They are available to visit clients (where practical), to correspond with clients, to provide welfare and migration advice, counselling and referral to appropriate services where necessary.


 1883 - 1966 Dr Barnardo's Homes (Australia Branch)
       1966 - c. 1995 Dr Barnardos in Australia
             c. 1995 - Barnardos Australia


  • Barnardos Australia, Records (c. 1883 - )

    The archival collection held by Barnardos Australia includes photographs, films and memorabilia relating to Barnardos and its predecessors. Note that client files are held by the State Library of NSW, however access to client files is administered by Barnardos Australia.

Related Contact Details



  • Humphreys, Margaret, Empty Cradles, Doubleday, London; Sydney, 2010, 331 pp. Details
  • Lyon, Doreen, With the Best of Intentions: Stories from Dr Barnardo's Farm School At Mowbray Park, near The Oaks, NSW 1929-1959 / collected by Doreen Lyon for The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks Historical Society, The Oaks, 2010, 87 pp. Details

Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Oranges and Sunshine', in Barnardos Australia: We Believe in Children: History, Barnardos Australia, 2013,; 'Child migration', in Barnardos Australia: We Believe in Children: History, Barnardos Australia, c. 2014,; 'History', in Barnardos Australia: We Believe in Children, Barnardos Australia, c. 2014,; Barnardos Australia: We Belive in Children, Barnardos Australia, c.2014,; 'Barnardos work with local children', in Barnardos Australia: We Believe in Children: History, Barnardos Australia, c.2014,; 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,

Prepared by: Naomi Parry