Please contact General Enquiries, National Archives of Australia:
Postal Address: PO Box 4924, Kingston, ACT 2604
Phone: (02) 6212 3600
Quote this number to access your records: National Archives of Australia Series Number, A885
These records are held by National Archives of Australia (1998 - current).
“Correspondence files, single number series with ‘B’ [Child Endowment] prefix” is an archival series held by the National Archives of Australia. Its series number is A885. The records in A885 relate to child endowment and family allowances. The records were created by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services. Many of the files document the payment of child endowment to children’s institutions and Aboriginal missions.
The files are located in Canberra. Digital copies are available for a small number of files in this series.
The records in A885 relate to child endowment and family allowances. The records were created by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.
Many of the files in this series document the payment of child endowment by the Department to children’s institutions around Australia. These files contain records including the application forms completed by organisations wishing to be approved as ‘institutions’ so that they could receive child endowment payments for children in their care. They also contain correspondence between the institutions and the department.
The files contain information about particular institutions – how they were run, how many children lived there, etc.
Occasionally, the correspondence in these files contains references to payments made to individual children. Generally, these files do not contain the names of children or families.
The Australian government introduced child endowment in 1941. It entitled every family to a five shilling per week, tax-free payment for each of their children, excepting the first born. (First children became eligible to receive child endowment from 1950.)
Under the first Child Endowment Act (1941), missions, and charitable or church-run institutions were able to register with the Department of Social Services and receive child endowment payments for the children in their care. From January 1942, institutions run by state governments were also eligible to receive child endowment payments.
This page was written by Cate O'Neill, last updated 25 May 2023.
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