Some people may find content on this website distressing. Read more
Western Australia - Archival Series

Former Child Migrants Blue Index Cards (1947 - 1968)


Former Child Migrants Blue Index Cards record details of each child who arrived in Western Australia after World War 2 as an unaccompanied child migrant. The children were placed under the guardianship of the Child Welfare Department in WA. The series of Blue Index Cards were printed by the Department to record information about each child migrant who was in their 'care'. These cards were used by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support to create its Former Child Migrant's Referral Index.


Access Conditions

Access to these records is restricted and confidentiality is protected by Child Protection and Family Support. If you believe the Department may hold records about you, or about a family member, you are encouraged to apply. Access is governed by the Freedom of Information Act 1992 and CPFS has a form on their website which you must use to apply for records.


These cards were meant to be updated with important information in each child's life until they left the guardianship of the Department when they turned 18 or 21, or were married or adopted. Sadly, many of these key events were not recorded and some cards hold very little information. In any case, the cards were only designed to make brief notes as an addition to the information on the larger client file (or case file as they were known).

The cards relate to former child migrants who came from Britain and Malta to:

  • Bindoon (St Joseph's Farm and Trade School)
  • Castledare Junior Orphanage (St Vincent's Boys' Home)
  • Clontarf (St Joseph's Clontarf Boys' Town)
  • Fairbridge Farm School, Pinjarra
  • Mofflyn, Victoria Park
  • Nazareth House, Bluff Point, Geraldton
  • St Joseph's Orphanage, Subiaco
  • St Vincent's Foundling Home, Subiaco
  • Swanleigh, Middle Swan
  • Tardun (St Mary's Agricultural) Farm School

If children were moved from one Children's Home to another, those different 'placements' were meant to be recorded so that the Department always knew where each child was living. The Department received that information from the Home and it wasn't unusual for there to be a delay in notifying the Department about these movements. Then there could be a further delay in updating the card. Likewise, medical and employment information often lagged behind the events or were not recorded at all.

However, the cards were designed to record the following information and may have some notes about the key events:

  • Child's name
  • Other names that the child was known by
  • Date of birth
  • Name of ship
  • Date of arrival in WA
  • Placements
  • Parents' names (if known)
  • Medical details
  • Employment details

Related Archival Series

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Prepared by: Debra Rosser