The term child migrant refers to children between the ages of 8 and 13, although some were younger, who were sent to Australia as part of various British Child migrant schemes. The Western Australian Department for Family and Children's Services defines 'child migrant' in the context of Western Australia as children from the United Kingdom and Malta who were sent to the state between 1913 and 1968 unaccompanied by parents and under the guardianship of the Federal Minister for Immigration (in 1946) and the relevant State Department (after 1947.) These children had no family ties or contacts in Australia. Prior to the enactment of Commonwealth legislation in 1946, State Child Welfare legislation and the general law covered custody and guardianship arrangements.
Sources used to compile this entry: Hill, David, The Forgotten Children: Fairbridge Farm School and its betrayal of Australia's child migrants, Random House, North Sydney, 2007, 338 pp; Sherington, Geoffrey, 'A better class of boy: The Big Brother Movement, youth migration and citizenship of Empire', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 33, no. 120, 2002, pp. 267-285.
Prepared by: Rosemary Francis
Created: 15 November 2011, Last modified: 14 May 2015