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South Australia - Legislation

State Children Act 1895 (1895 - 1927)

Principal Act

The State Children Act 1895 (No 641 of 58 and 59 Vic, 1895) was fully titled: An Act to amend the Law relating to State Children, and for other purposes. It began on 20 December 1895, and amended the Destitute Persons Act Amendment Act of 1886. The State Children Act 1895 was amended several times, and repealed by the Maintenance Act 1926 on 7 April 1927.


The new Act introduced some minor alterations, including refining the definition of the term 'neglected' child. While earlier definitions had included children whom a parents were 'unable to control', the 1895 Act included children who were deemed by parents to be 'uncontrollable' or 'incorrigible' as neglected. Under this new Act, parents were still responsible for charging their own children and bringing them before justices.

The State Children Act 1895 was the first legislation to define a 'private institution', as an institution established and run by a private body.

The Act had several amendments: Act No.702/1898, Act No.750/1900, Act No.819/1903, Act No.832/1903, Act No.996/1909, Act No.1339/1918.


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: To Remove and Protect, South Australian Legislation, AIATSIS, 2009,;

Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - South Australia Legislation', 13 December 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.

Prepared by: Melissa Downing, Christine Moje