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Tasmania - Event

Visit of John Moss (1951)


The visit of John Moss to Tasmania took place in 1951. He inspected and reported on children's Homes receiving British child migrants. Moss visited Clarendon Children's Home, Boys' Town, Hagley Farm School, the Big Brother reception centre at Beaufront in Ross, Little Brothers on the north-west coast, the Sunshine Home, St Joseph's Waterton Hall, and Roland Boys' Home.


John Moss, formerly of the Kent County Welfare Office, had served on the British Curtis Committee, which had investigated British out of home care in 1946. Moss was also a member of the British Central Training Council in Child Care. Later, he became an Assistant Under-Secretary of State in charge of the Children's Department of the Home Office.

His visit to Tasmania took place as part of a wider privately undertaken tour of Australia and New Zealand during which he inspected Homes so that he could report back to the British government. He was critical of Clarendon Children's Home, which he said was 'not up to standard'. He was also critical of another Home near Launceston which appears to be Roland Boys' Home. In a letter written in 1952 to FH Southey, the Director of the Tasmanian Government Tourist and Immigration Department, he said:

What happened about the scheme for taking migrant boys at the newly acquired Home near Launceston? As we agreed, when we were there, it wanted considerable improvement before it could be considered suitable for migrants.

However, he approved of the Big Brother Movement. In the same letter written to Southey he asked:

How is the Big Brother Movement getting on? I do hope they are getting some suitable lads as this is such a good scheme under Mr. Von Bibra's excellent guidance. I should be interested to know, in particular, if he is now satisfied with the lads he is getting and if they are coming in bigger parties.

Ross also approved of Hagley Farm School. He recommended that the Fairbridge scheme there be extended.

This correspondence is in the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office.

Prepared by: Caroline Evans