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RAD Grant Ballarat Orphanage & Children’s Home Records 1920-1986

Throughout 2019 we will be highlighting projects funded by the RAD (Records Access Documentation) Grants.

Managers, staff and leaders of the former Ballarat Children’s Home and Ballarat Orphanage would often talk about and write about children in their meetings and regular reports, but these details would not typically be reported publicly.

Often these discussions and reports contained information about those children, relating typically to the conditions in which they lived in the institution, how they came to live there, and / or how, why and to where they left. There are hundreds of children whose names appear in these administrative records that are currently invisible to Care leavers and difficult for administrators to access.

Ballarat Orphanage

Child and Family Services Ballarat (CAFS) holds administrative records relating to the former Ballarat Children’s Home and Ballarat Orphanage, and with the support of a RAD Grant, will be able to make these administrative records that are currently invisible to Care leavers and difficult for administrators to access available to the hundreds Care Leavers whose names appear in them.

Digitising and indexing the collection of Committee Meeting Minutes and Superintendent Reports for the period between 1920 and 1989 will improve access to records for those they relate to, decrease wait times, and provide more information about life in these Homes than was previously possible.

The project will involve consultation with former residents; arrangement, description and digitisation of relevant records; database design; data input; and planning for privacy and communication to Care leavers.

Child and Family Services (CAFS) Ballarat is located in Ballarat, Victoria.
Find out more about CAFS at https://cafs.org.au/

For more information on Ballarat Orphanage and Children’s Home, see: https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ref/vic/biogs/E000031b.htm

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4 Comments

  1. When will Find and Connect concentrate some funding on Government Institutional Care Records and ask why and where are the records convieniently lost to save them formal litigation?
    Seems Government funding is not spent on releasing truth about Government Records Activities. This is a disgrace.

    • Find & Connect

      May 2, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Ellen.

      The Find and Connect web resource is an online resource providing information about institutional care in Australia, developed to assist people connect to their past in ‘care’.

      The web resource sets out information about the records held by various institutions, and information about these institutions in the form of histories, photographs, and references to further writing and images. It provides a central location to search for past histories of care, and acts as a conduit to Find and Connect Support Services for those requesting additional support, in a responsive and respectful way.

      The web resource is intermittently funded by the Department of Social Services to run the Records Access Documentation Grants. This allows not-for profit organisations who hold records to appropriately index them, making them easily available to people who were in “care” at particular institutions. These records would not otherwise become available to Care Leavers.

      The Find and Connect web resource does not have any power to force any organisation to provide any information about the records they hold.

      For help accessing records relating to you or a family member, including those held by government, you can contact a Find & Connect Support Service in your state or territory https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/contact/

  2. shirley Beaumont

    April 24, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    totally agree . it’s been a life time coming hopefully all will be revealed to the recipient this time around.

  3. What a great project. This will be specially important for those whose records have been lost.
    A model for other institutions to follow.

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