During the late 19th and 20th centuries Britain sent over 100,000 child migrants across the British Empire to populate its dominions with ‘good white stock’.
From the 1860s, children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population. Many of these children came from families who were unable to care for them and only very few were orphans. The majority of children were sent to Canada, but more than 7000 came to Australia. The scheme was criticised and Canada ended the program after the Second World War; Australia continued to accept child migrants until the 1960s.
Four children bound for Fairbridge Farm School, Molong 1938.
Reproduced courtesy Molong Historic Society
The exhibition is the collaboration of the Australian National Maritime Museum and National Museum Liverpool, UK. The Immigration Museum has worked with The Child Migrants Trust and The International Association of Former Child Migrants and their Families (IAFCM&F) to provide additional material showcasing the stories of former child migrants in Victoria and Tasmania.
On Their Own is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.
Immigration Discovery Centre Reference Collections
Auden, F.E., Little Brother, catalogue number 304.894042 A899
Bean, P., 1989, Lost Children of the Empire, catalogue number 362.73 B367
Bailey, J. & Sabin. R., 2010, The long way home, catalogue number 304.894042 B 154
Clough, L.M., Northcote: Our Heritage, catalogue number 304.8940086945 C647
Coldrey, B., 1999, Child migration under the management of the Australian and British governments: National Archives of Australia files, catalogue number 016.3252410994 C688
Coldrey, B, 1992, Child migration, the Australian government and the Catholic Church, 1926-1966, catalogue number 325.2410994 C688
Davey, G., 1986, A strange place to go, Child Migrants to Australia, a resource book, catalogue number 305.230994 D248
Gill, A, 1998, Orphans of the empire: the shocking story of child migration to Australia, catalogue number 362.730994 G476
Gill, A., 2005, Likely Lads and Lasses, youth migration to Australia, 1911-1983, catalogue number 304.894041 G475
Hill, D., 2008, The forgotten children: Fairbridge Farm School and its betrayal of Britain's child migrants to Australia, catalogue number 304.894041 H 645
Kershaw, R. And Sacks, J., 2008, New Lives for Old: the story of Britain’ child migrants, catalogue number 304.809 K41
Richards, E., 2004, Britannia’s Children, emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600, catalogue number 325.241 R514
Sherington, G., and Jeffery, C., 1998, Fairbridge : Empire and child migration, catalogue number 325.24083 S552
Stocker, J, The lady Northcote Children's Farm School, Glenmore, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria : a home and training farm for British child migrants 1937-1976, as experienced by one of them, catalogue number 304.8940086945 S864
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