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Western Australia - Archival Series

Files (Aboriginal matters) - Chief Secretary's Department (1916 - 1927)

Reference No
Legal Status
State Records Office of Western Australia Reference code

Files (Aboriginal matters) - Chief Secretary's Department were created by the central registry of the Colonial Secretary's Office/Chief Secretary's Department (even though much of the correspondence was sent to, and from, the Chief Protector of Aborigines or his deputy). The files in this series, along with the files from the Department of the North-West (Records Series No. 2029), comprise the main collection of files relating to Aboriginal matters between the period 1920 and 1926. This series includes records relating to missions and other institutions, the removal of children, rationing and 'relief', employment, movement of Aboriginal people, ethnographic studies, education, health and medical treatment, and a large number of 'personal' files relating to named individuals or families.


Access Conditions

This series contains records with both open and restricted access. Open access records can be ordered from SROWA by any member of the public. Individuals will need to apply to the Aboriginal History Research Services in order to access restricted records.


The records in this series about missions and institutions include records relating to the removal of children, health and medical treatment, employment of Aboriginal people, lists of people living in or transferred to missions/institutions, and 'personal' correspondence files relating to named individuals, as well as more general administrative files relating to reporting, staffing, buildings and maintenance, rationing, assets, and finances. This series also includes a small number of records relating to the adoption of Aboriginal children.

The 'personal' correspondence files in this series include the names of individuals and families in their titles. The term 'personal' file is a slight misnomer as these files invariably contain limited correspondence regarding the person stated. The Department for Communities 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 2031 Files - (Aboriginal matters) - Chief Secretary's Department: List of items

Prepared by: Debra Rosser & Constance Thurley-Hart