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Family Tracing

Download a printable version of Family Tracing (1.35 MB PDF)

On this page you will find links to organisations that provide family tracing services and tips on how you can search for a missing family member or friend.

Family Tracing Organisations

Find & Connect Support Service

The Find & Connect Support Services were created to support Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and others who spent time in out of home care between 1920 and 1990. They provide this group and immediate family members with assistance to search for family and, in some circumstances, family reunions. You can call the service in your state or territory on 1800 16 11 09 or email them via the web resource by clicking on the Send message to Find & Connect support service button.


Link-Up services help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people separated from their families under the past laws, practices and policies of Australian governments to undertake family tracing and family reunions with counselling support.

The website for the Link-Up service is:

Adoption Support Organisations

Some organisations providing support for people affected by forced adoption provide assistance with family tracing.

See this list of adoption support and advocacy organisations:

Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross is part of the global Restoring Family Links program. They may be able to help with family tracing in some circumstances, for example, when a family member is missing as a result of war, disaster or migration. Red Cross is not able to accept requests when there is not enough information to conduct a search, when it is for genealogical research or relates to legal matters like wills and child custody. The website for Australian Red Cross Tracing is

Please note that the Salvation Army Australia ceased its family tracing program in March 2018.

Family Tracing Tips

White Pages

It might sound a little obvious, but it’s always worth checking the phone book! The Australian White Pages has a website where you can search the Australia-wide directory, see:

Electoral Rolls

The Australian Electoral Roll is an important resource for family tracing. Produced by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), the electoral roll is a list of the names and addresses of everyone who is eligible and enrolled to vote in Australia. In April 2015, these were the rules about public access to the most current electoral roll in AEC offices:

  • Members of the public may access the publicly available roll on Public Access Terminals in AEC offices without challenge as to the purpose they are accessing the roll.
  • AEC staff will still monitor public access to the roll to enforce the restriction on copying or recording the roll by electronic means.
  • AEC staff will monitor public access to the roll in relation to the length of time an individual member of the public uses a terminal in order to ensure that other members of the public can also gain access in a timely fashion.

The previous policy, which restricted people from searching the electoral roll for information about other people, was reversed in April 2015. Note that under the rules, you may not copy, record or photograph any information from the electoral roll with any electronic device.

Follow this link for more information about viewing the electoral roll:

For family tracing, historic electoral rolls can be very useful in tracking people over time and place. Past copies of electoral rolls (published annually) are available for public inspection in state and local libraries. Contact your local library or the state library in your capital city to see what electoral rolls are in their collection.

The Australian Electoral Rolls from 1903 to 1980 are available for viewing and searching through the ‘’ website. This is not a free website, however, you can access for free at the Find & Connect Support Service in your state or territory and in State Libraries in each capital city. It may also be available at your local library.

Births Deaths and Marriages

Every state and territory has a registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (or BDM), which is responsible for registering life events including births, deaths, marriages, changes of name, and adoptions. Here is a list of the registries around Australia:

Most BDM offices have a website where you can search birth, death and marriage family history indexes, at no cost. But, you do have to pay to look at search results, and to get a copy of a certificate from BDM. Also please be aware that the registries only have information for the state they are in, and they will not be able to search nationwide for you.

Social Media

There are Facebook groups that may assist you in your search, but you must exercise care if you choose to join them. These groups are not in any way affiliated with Find & Connect, and we don’t monitor or recommend any of them specifically. You may find some information using groups such as these, however:

  • Remember that Facebook is a public space. Unless you use its messaging facility, what you post on your or somebody else’s profile is visible to everyone. Think about your privacy as well as the privacy of the person you are trying to locate.
  • People all over the world use sites like Facebook. Make sure that you have the right person before making contact!
  • Not everyone is who they say they are online. Take precautions to protect yourself – don’t share personal information such as your address, phone number, or birthday. If you already use social media, ensure your profiles are private.
  • Not everyone will act in your best interests. If you are seeking assistance online, you are vulnerable. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has information on protecting yourself online – be familiar with it before contacting or sharing information with anyone in these groups:

Some Facebook groups that may be useful:

AUSSIE & UK ANGELS – Reuniting long lost Family & Friends

This is a volunteer -based group that may assist you to find a loved one

There is also a more private group here:

DNA Detectives

Note : This private group focuses on using DNA to find biological family members.

Local area pages on Facebook

The following pages may contain photos of past members, associates, alumni etc.

  • Community pages
  • Local Sporting Groups
  • Associations often place
  • ‘Remember when’ pages
  • School Pages
  • School reunion pages