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Former Child Migrants

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This information is for people searching for the records of Former Child Migrants, particularly those children (approximately 4,000) who were sent to Australia from Britain and Malta in the period following World War Two.

The records of Former Child Migrants are spread across a number of different organisations, in Australia and overseas. This guide will provide information about what records are held in national archives, state archives, and the collections of organisations that arranged for the migration of children to Australia. It will also provide details about the institutions where Former Child Migrants lived.

In 2018, the British government announced it would offer compensation to Former Child Migrants. For more information, see the Find & Connect blog.

Organisations that can Help

Searching for and accessing the records of Former Child Migrants can be a very complicated and time-consuming process. There are a number of organisations that can help you with the search. These organisations have vast knowledge and years of expertise – getting in touch with these organisations is a very sensible first step if you are searching for records of a Former Child Migrant.

Child Migrants Trust

The Child Migrants Trust was established in 1987 by Margaret Humphreys. It is an independent, professional, specialised service for Former Child Migrants and their families. The Child Migrants Trust’s services including searching for records, searching for family members, organising reunions and offering support and counselling. Through the Family Restoration Fund, it pays the cost of reunion travel for Former Child Migrants and their families. In Australia, the Child Migrants Trust has offices in Perth and in Melbourne.
Freecall: 1800 04 05 09

Find & Connect Support Services

In Australia, there is a Find & Connect Support Service in every state and territory, providing support to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. Find & Connect Support Services help people to access support and counselling, obtain records and reconnect with family, where possible.
Freecall: 1800 16 11 09

Tuart Place (Western Australia)

Tuart Place provides services to people who were in institutional ‘care’ in Western Australia, including Former Child Migrants. Tuart Place’s services include obtaining records, family tracing and providing support.
Freecall 1800 619 795 or (08) 6140 2380

Useful Publications

Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia

Good British Stock is a research guide published by the National Archives of Australia. It contains detailed information about records held by the National Archives of Australia relating to child migration and to Former Child Migrants. This publication also contains information about the history of child and youth migration to Australia.

Child Migrants: Accessing records held by Commonwealth and State Archives

This guide was prepared by the Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) in 2010. It contains information about records relating to Former Child Migrants in national and state archives, as well as some records held by non-government organisations (such as church or charitable organisations).

Lost Innocents: Righting the Record

The Senate presented its report on Child Migration to Australia in 2001, following an inquiry by the Community Affairs Reference Committee. The ‘Lost Innocents’ report contains information about the history of child migration to Australia, its impact on individuals and families as well as useful facts and figures.

Find & Connect web resource

The Find & Connect web resource contains information about child migration to Australia, the institutions where Former Child Migrants lived, the organisations that administered child migration schemes and about the records relating these activities. Navigating all of the various entities in the Find & Connect web resource can be difficult. These links take you to pages on Find & Connect that contain brief information about child and youth migration to different states in Australia, with links to relevant organisations, Homes, and information about records.

Child and Youth Migration to Western Australia
Child and Youth Migration to New South Wales
Child Migration to Tasmania
Child and Youth Migration to South Australia
Post-War Child Migration to Victoria
Child and Youth Migration to Queensland