Child and Youth Migrants: 1924 – 1976

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Accessing Non-State Records

The Tasmanian Archives does not directly hold the administrative and admission records of the four main Child Migrant out-of-home care providers.

For records on Clarendon Children’s Home and St John Bosco Boys’ Town, you will need to contact the church or private institution’s research support services to gain access to your records. Our Guide to Records on Adoptions, Fostering and Out-of-Home Care explains this process in greater detail. We recommend that you consult the Find & Connect website, which has a comprehensive list of children’s homes in Tasmania that looked after migrants, as well as guides to record holdings, contact details and photographs.

The Tasmanian Archives does hold Non-State administrative records on the Hagley Farm School and Tresca, because Child Migrants cared for in these two out-of-home care providers were placed there through the Fairbridge Drake Society, whose records we hold.

However, please note that admission records for the Hagley Farm School are also held in our State collection outlined above, in the Department of Education series for Hagley Farm School (TA1456).

Fairbridge Drake Society

The Fairbridge Society was formed in 1909 by Kingsley Fairbridge with the intention of providing support for the relocation of British children around the Commonwealth to learn farming skills. Many Child Migrants were sent to Australia by this society, which later changed its name to the Fairbridge Drake Society.

Hagley Farm School and Tresca Home

The principal of the government-run Hagley Farm School, JS Maslin, was a great admirer of the Fairbridge Drake system. He developed accommodation facilities and educational resources that included farm training for students according to the Fairbridge principles, and was successful in gaining the support of the Society and the government to house Child Migrants. The first Fairbridge sponsored children arrived in 1952.

In 1957, the Fairbridge Society expanded their out-of-home care in Tasmania, acquiring a property located at Exeter, nearly Launceston, called Tresca. Many of the children at Tresca come to Tasmania under the parent following scheme, in which parents would follow their children at a later date. This allowed for people often excluded from migration, such as single mothers, to migrate to Australia with support. However, this scheme was not successful with many parents not being allowed to or having the support to follow their children to Tasmania.

Records of the Fairbridge Drake Society have access restrictions. If you lived at this home, you will need to contact us at the Tasmanian Archives for access to these records.

General Records of the Society, Fairbridge-Drake Society (NS1438), from 1925 to 1985:

1958-76 Family Register (NS1438/1/88)

1957-1973 General Administrative file (NS1438/1/15)

1925-1985 Printed annual reports of the Fairbridge Society (some years not included; see the full list)

1958 Photographs of “Tresca” at Exeter Includes official opening, exterior and interior building shots, staff and some children. Some of the photographs were taken for official publicity purposes to illustrate how the home operated. Range from NS1438/1/59 to NS1438/1/82

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