The Industrial Schools Act (Act no.31 Vict. No.37) with the full title 'An Act to provide for the Establishment in Tasmania of Institutions for the Industrial Training and Benefit of Vagrant Children and Youthful Offenders' provided for the establishment of institutions for children who were neglected or had committed an offence. Such children could be brought before two Justices for committal to an industrial school. The Act enabled volunteers to establish and manage industrial schools.
This act was repealed by the Youthful Offenders Act 1896 (Act no. 60 Vict. No.24) on 23 October 1896.
According to its preamble, the Industrial Schools Act provided for 'the Establishment in Tasmania of Institutions for the Industrial Training and Benefit of Vagrant Children and Youthful Offenders'.
Children under the age of 14 who were 'found begging or receiving alms'; 'found wandering and not having any home or settled place of abode, or proper guardianship or visible means of subsistence'; or were 'destitute' because they were an orphan or their only living parent was in gaol could be sent to an industrial school.
Children under 12 charged with an offence punishable by prison but not of a felony, could also be sent to an industrial school.
The Act had its origins in vagrancy laws which explains why in this, and subsequent acts, children could be charged with their own neglect.
1863 - 1867 Industrial Schools Act 1863
1867 - 1896 Industrial Schools Act 1867
1896 - 1918 Youthful Offenders, Destitute and Neglected Children's Act 1896
1918 - 1936 The Children of the State Act 1918
1935 - 1961 Infants' Welfare Act 1935
1960 - 2003 Child Welfare Act 1960
2000 - Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1997
Sources used to compile this entry: 'After the Queen's Orphanage', 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20111219205120/http://www.femalefactory.com.au/FFRG/pdfs/AfterTheQO.pdf; 'Homes and Orphanages', in Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN), Care Leavers Australia Network, https://clan.org.au/homes-and-orphanages/tasmania/; Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Tasmanian Legislation', 20 January 2014, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 20 January 2011, Last modified: 26 May 2015