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Northern Territory - Organisation

State Children's Council, Northern Territory (1930 - 1959)

Australian Government

Government Agency

The State Children's Council for the Northern Territory was established in 1930 under the provisions of the South Australian State Children Act 1895. The Council was responsible for the welfare of children placed under its care and control.


During the Second World War, when the Northern Territory Administration was evacuated from the Territory, the Council went into recess. It reconvened in 1950.

With the passing of the Northern Territory Child Welfare Ordinance in 1958, the Council was replaced by the Child Welfare Advisory Council.

Under the provisions of the State Children Act, the State Children's Council was made up of 'not more than twelve nor less than five persons'. For many years the membership of the Council comprised several ministers of religion, police officers and a medical doctor. In July 1950 the first woman was appointed to the Council. Prior to 1950 all members had been male.

In October 1950 a newspaper report pointed out that all the members of the Council lived in Darwin and that the Council lacked members to represent Alice Springs and Central Australia. As a result of this complaint, the Council approached community organisations in Central Australia and asked them to nominate potential representatives. The first Alice Springs based Council member, Sister Eileen Heath, was appointed to the State Children's Council in June 1951.


 1930 - 1959 State Children's Council, Northern Territory
       1955 - 1970 Welfare Branch, Northern Territory Administration
             1970 - 1972 Welfare Division, Northern Territory Administration
                   1972 - 1990 Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Northern Territory Division
                         1974 - 1977 Community Welfare Section, Department of the Northern Territory
                               1977 Department of Community Services
                                     1977 - 1978 Department of Community and Social Development
                                           1978 - 1987 Department of Community Development
                                                 1987 - 1995 Department of Health and Community Services [I]
                                                       1995 - 2001 Territory Health Services
                                                             2001 - 2008 Department of Health and Community Services [II]
                                                                   2008 - 2010 Department of Health and Families
                                                                         2011 - Department of Health
                                                                         2011 - 2016 Department of Children and Families
                                                                               2016 - Territory Families

Related Archival Series


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: 'Child Welfare Body Constituted', Centralian Advocate (Alice Springs), 20 October 1950, p. 16,; Ling, Ted, Commonwealth Government records about the Northern Territory : Research guide, National Archives of Australia, 2011,; 'State Children's Council Appointments and Terminations', National Archives of Australia, F1, 1950/402A.

Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George