Adoption and Forgotten Australians

Family history for adopted people, Forgotten Australians and child migrants

Additional resources

The following page lists additional resources that Aboriginal adopted persons or former wards can use to help find information about themselves or their family. Please also use the other sections of this guide where relevant.

Records of Aboriginal children who were adopted or in care may have been kept at a state and a national level. For information on accessing records, please refer to the Australia wide and state specific sections of this page.

For more information on researching Aboriginal family history, please consult the Library's Aboriginal people and family history research guide.

Australia wide

The National Archives of Australia

The National Archives of Australia holds many records that can be used to research the history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Bringing Them Home (BTH) name index (Fact Sheet)
In response to recommendation in the Bringing them home report , the National Archives has created a name index to help Indigenous people find information about themselves, their families and their country. You can ask for the BTH name index to be searched by contacting the Archives’ National Reference Service.

Under freedom of information and privacy legislation you are allowed to access your own records but sensitive information relating to other family members may be withheld. There is however, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Archives and the Victorian, South Australian and Northern Territory Indigenous communities that allow some records normally restricted from public access to be viewed for the purpose of re-establishing family and community links. See the following Fact Sheets for more information.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
Memorandum of Understanding with South Australian Indigenous people
Memorandum of Understanding with Northern Territory Aboriginal people

Please see the National Archive's fact sheet on records of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for more information on their collection.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

AIATSIS is Australia's premier institution for information and research about the past and present cultures and lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) is a personal name index to published material held in the AIATSIS library. Materials indexed include local histories, personal and family histories, selected journals, government reports and manuscripts.

Family history kit
Provides tips for starting Indigenous family history and contact details for relevant organisations.

Missions, and reserve records
A guide to finding mission and reserve records.

Other Resources

National Library of Australia - Mura Gadi
A guide to manuscript, pictures and oral histories in the National Library of Australia relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Australian Aboriginal Genealogy Resources by Paul Mackett (Mackett Index) - Index of Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Victoria

Finding your Story (produced by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, Public Record Office Victoria and the Victorian Koorie Records Taskforce). A resource manual to the records of the Stolen Generation in Victoria.

Koorie Heritage Trust - Koorie Family History Service
The Trust assists members of the Stolen Generations, people separated from their Koorie family through family breakdown or adoption, Koorie communities and Koories in custody to trace their family history and access records.

Link-Up Victoria
Link-Up Victoria assists Indigenous people who were adopted, placed in foster care, institutionalized or forcibly removed, to trace and be reunited with their families.

Stolen Generations Victoria
The primary purpose of the organisation is to support and address the needs of people affected by practices and policies of removing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from family, community, country and culture.

Public Record Office of Victoria (PROV)
PROV holds records relating to the administration of Aboriginal Affairs in Victoria. For more information please view the following links:
- Koorie Heritage – Aboriginal Records at PROV
- Koorie Records Unit promotes awareness about Aboriginal records within the Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) collection and aims to improve the accessibility of these records to the Aboriginal community. The KRU also builds links between PROV and a range of Indigenous community organisations.
- Koorie Index of Names Project ongoing indexing project of relevant Victorian records held at PROV.

Australian Aboriginal Genealogy Resources by Paul Mackett (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publicly available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.
Victorian indexes:
(1)  Index to some Welfare Board genealogies
(2)  Index to some genealogies from the Wimmera and Gippsland districts
(3)  Aboriginal Case Files Victoria (Series B337)

Aboriginal mission stations in Victoria : Yelta, Ebenezer, Ramahyuck, Lake Condah / Aldo Massola

New South Wales

Department of Aboriginal Affairs - Family Records Unit
The Family Records Unit can provide permission to view the archives of the Aborigines Welfare Board and Aborigines Protection Board 1883-1969. The archives are housed at the State Archives of New South Wales.

State Archives of NSW
See the guide State archives relating to Aboriginal People listed on their website.

State Library of NSW Australian Indigenous Index - an index to the Koori Mail from May 1991 onwards. Also includes index to biographical information from various magazines including: Our Aim (1907–1961), Dawn (1952–1969), New Dawn (1970–1975) and Identity (1971–1982).

Link-Up NSW
Link-Up offers support services to Aboriginal people who were fostered, adopted or raised in institutions.

Connecting kin : guide to records : a guide to help people separated from their families search for their records / Kristy Thinee and Tracy Bradford.

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

The True Descendants from the Awabakal Tribe
Online resource that includes bibliography listing over 230 sources of information relating to the Aboriginal peoples of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region.

The camp of mercy : an historical and biographical record of the Warangesda Aboriginal Mission/Station, Darlington Point, New South Wales / Beverley Gulambali Elphick & Don Elphick.

Menindee Mission Station : 1933-1949 / compiled and edited by Beverley and Don Elphick

Riverina Aboriginals : 1874-1945 / compiled and edited by Beverley & Don Elphick

Queensland

Link-Up (QLD)
Link-Up offers support services to Aboriginal people who were fostered, adopted or raised in institutions.

State Library of Queensland - Indigenous Library Service

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Tindale : genealogy name index : for the Indigenous Resource Unit, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

South Australia

Link-Up (SA)
Link-Up offers support services to Aboriginal people who were fostered, adopted or raised in institutions. Website includes Finding your Way, a research guide to existing records of South Australian children’s homes and institutions, both government and non-government.

State Records of South Australia
Guides and Indexes for Aboriginal History

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Tasmania

Archives Office of Tasmania - Brief Guide 18: records relating to Tasmanian Aboriginal people

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index) Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Western Australia

Department of Indigenous Affairs (WA)
Aboriginal History Research Unit

Department of Child Protection (WA) Family Information Records Bureau
Provides a service to trace personal and family histories for those people and families associated with children who were taken into the care of the child welfare authorities, both Aboriginal or wards of the state.

State Library of Western Australia

Indigenous Family History Guide

State Records Office of Western Australia
Please see the State Records Office guide to Aboriginal Family History for a list of holdings.
An Index to the Chief Protector of Aborigines Files 1898 - 1908 is available to view on their website.

The Bicentennial dictionary of Western Australians, pre-1829-1888. (includes 4 volumes of names of Aboriginal people.)

Dictionary of Western Australia 1829-1914 (includes 3 volumes of names of Aboriginal people.)

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Finding out about your Aboriginal family : an information service to help Aboriginal people find out about their family history / Department for Community Services, Government of Western Australia.

Territories

Australian Capital Territory

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)
The Family History Unit provides a specialist family history service to indigenous clients.

National Archives of Australia (See Australia Wide section)

Northern Territory

Link-Up (NT)
Link-Up offers support services to Aboriginal people who were fostered, adopted or raised in institutions.

Northern Territory Archives Service
Guide to Archives Relating to Aboriginal People

Australian Aboriginal genealogical resources (Mackett Index)
Aboriginal names extracted from a range of publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.

Northern Territory Government Gazette May 13th 1957

This issue of the Gazette includes the Northern Territory Welfare Ordinance Register of Wards 1953-55. This Welfare Ordinance classified nearly all Northern Territory Aborigines of full descent (adults and children) as wards of the state. According to the Collaborating for Indigenous Rights website, all but six Aborigines of full descent were classified as wards. The register can include the following information: European name, tribal/personal name, tribe, group, year of birth, sex, district, sub-district and mission. This item is kept in the State Library's offsite store. Contact staff to arrange retrieval.

Senate inquiries and reports

Senate Inquiries into the Stolen Generation.