The title of this series at the National Archives of Australia ('child migrant selection documents)' is a bit misleading, because these records don't usually give any information about why a child was 'selected' to come to Australia, except for his/her general medical fitness. These documents were prepared by the child's guardian before they left Britain and may include extracts of birth certificates, medical and educational details and details of the place (family or Children's Home) where the child last lived. However, the amount of information held on the files is not uniform. Some people's files hold a lot of background information but others have very little.
Access conditions for items in this series vary. Please contact the National Archives of Australia.
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) description below states what information the records might contain and how they were used:
This series consists of various records related to and used for the selection of child British migrants by the Chief Migration Officer of Australia House in London under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme. The records of successful applicants were forwarded to the Immigration Department, Western Australian Branch if the migrant intended to settle in Western Australia.
The forms are completed by approved voluntary organisations in conjunction with the parents or guardians of the children concerned. At the commencement of the child migration scheme, a number of organisations, mainly Church of England or Catholic welfare groups and institutions, were approved by the Immigration Department to undertake a sponsor role for individual and groups of children.
The forms L.E.M. 3 are completed at the overseas post and forwarded to Australian Government's Chief Migration Officer, London. X-ray reports and medical examinations are arranged and the completed forms are attached to L.E.M. 3 (form K and the radiologist's report). Once this documentation is completed, the Chief Migration Officer arranges transportation for the migrant to Australia.
At the time of departure of the migrants the forms L.E.M. 3 and attachments are forwarded to the Commonwealth Migration Officer in the state of intended residence. A birth certificate and school report accompany the selection documents to Australia - in Western Australia these are handed over to the State Child Welfare Department for use in the performance of their legal functions as protectors of all children in institutions.
The forms are double sided and give the particulars of the child migrant - name, address, age, date and place of birth and education details. The child's parents and/or guardians' names and addresses are also included as well as their consent to their child/ward proceeding to Australia. The voluntary organisation involved is required to guarantee to repay passage money if migrant is deemed unsuitable and the form is assessed and approved by the Chief Migration Officer.
The medical examination form consists of a declaration by the intending migrant's parent or guardian regarding their medical history, particularly whether they, or their family, have a history of tuberculosis, mental illness, trachoma and other serious medical conditions. Details of the medical examination are also included and the forms are certified by the medical examiner. The radiologist's report, if included, consists of the Government Emigration Radiologist's certification that an X-ray examination has been made and no abnormalities found.
Sources used to compile this entry: Child migration to Australia - Fact sheet 124, National Archives of Australia, http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs124.aspx; Coldrey, Barry, Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia, National Archives of Australia, 1999, http://guides.naa.gov.au/good-british-stock/.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 22 February 2012, Last modified: 24 February 2015