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

CBERSS: Christian Brothers Ex Residents and Students Services (1995 - 2005)

December 2005
Advocacy Body and Support Service
Alternative Names
  • C-BERS

'CBERSS' (Christian Brothers Ex-Residents and Students Services) was established in 1995. It was set up as an independent agency to advocate for and provide a range of services to people who had been in Christian Brothers' institutions or schools as children and who had suffered in some way from that experience.


Although originally set up for men who had been to Christian Brothers' schools and institutions, CBERSS later extended its services to women who had been in Sisters of Mercy or Sisters of Nazareth institutions. CBERSS was funded by the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Nazareth as a functionally independent service. CBERSS provided family tracing, literacy classes, no-interest loans, counselling and funded travel for family reunification.

The 'C-BERS Travel Fund' was established in 1995. CBERSS' submission to the Inquiry in Child Migration in 2001 outlined the fund criteria:

  • British and Maltese former child migrants were eligible
  • The travel fund was not means-tested
  • Travel assistance was provided for one trip to meet with family or to visit the country of origin if no family could be found (or if family was found but was unwilling to meet)
  • A £700 allowance was paid for living and incidental travel costs, plus a return economy airfare
  • A carer was funded if the person had a disability
  • Travel was provided once CBERS was satisfied that the former child migrant and the family of origin had adequate preparation for the meeting.

The average cost per former child migrant was $6,700.

Related Glossary Terms

Related Organisations


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Senate Community Affairs References Committee Secretariat, Parliament of Australia, Lost Innocents and Forgotten Australians Revisited: Report on the progress with the implementation of the recommendations of the Lost Innocents and Forgotten Australians Reports, Parliament of Australia website, Commonwealth of Australia, 25 June 2009,

Prepared by: Debra Rosser