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Western Australia - Archival Series

Files - Aborigines Departments (1926 - 1972)

1 January 1926
16 June 1972
Reference No
Legal Status
State Records Office of Western Australia Reference code

Files - Aborigines Department is an archival series which comprises records that were created by the Aborigines Department and its successor agencies - the Department of Native Welfare and the Department of Native Affairs - up until 1972 when welfare functions, and their associated files, were transferred to the newly created Department for Community Welfare. This record series covers a wide range of matters which the department/s were responsible for administering. This series includes records relating to missions, children's homes, policies of child removal, Aboriginal reserves, stations, hospitals and medical treatment, education, Aboriginal cultural sites, practices, and artefacts, Royal Commissions, annual and other reports of the departments, and files relating to individual people.


Access Conditions

Some items in this series have open access, and can be ordered from the State Records Office of Western Australia. Other items in this series are restricted to protect personal privacy, or have not yet been examined for access requirements. For access to these records, please contact the Aboriginal History Research Services.


This series contains a large number of items, many of which relate to the administration of missions and children's homes that received Aboriginal children removed from their families. In many cases these items include registers of "inmates", as well as reports on missions/homes, correspondence, child endowment records, and general administrative records. This series also contains a small number of items that more generally relate to child welfare matters, including adoption, fostering/boarding out, accommodation for school children, and medical treatment of children.

A number of 'personal' files are also included. (The term 'personal' file is a slight misnomer as these files invariably contain limited correspondence regarding the person stated. The Department of Community Development holds a fuller series of personal files relating to Aboriginal people. These files were created by the various departments responsible for Aboriginal welfare and were transferred to the Department for Community Welfare in 1972).

The below document contains a list of items in this series that may be of relevance to Care Leavers. The items are arranged by the Home/Institution or theme that they refer to.

Series 2030 Files - Aborigines Department: List of items

Related Organisations

Prepared by: Debra Rosser & Constance Thurley-Hart