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Research Guides


Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: The Royal Commission and its Records, 1987–91


6 The Administrative Records

Many administrative series were created by the Commission because there were six Commissioners, initially the Hon. James Muirhead, QC, then later the Hon. Elliott Johnston, QC, the Hon. John Wootten, QC, the Hon. Lewis Wyvill, QC, the Hon. Daniel O’Dea and Patrick Dodson. Separate series were also established by a number of Instructing Solicitors, Research Officers and Aboriginal Issues Units. Finally the number of geographical locations visited by the Commissioners and with investigative staff located there led to the need for a number of administrative units. The Commission was organised on a regional basis, with offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Broome, Canberra, Darwin and Perth, and sub-offices in Melbourne, Alice Springs and Hobart.

This chapter describes the Royal Commission’s administrative records.

RECORDS AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Administrative files – NSW Office A8572
Perth administration files, Aboriginal Issues Unit A8590
Perth administration files, general A8591
Perth administration files, hearings administration A8592
Administrative and legal files, Queensland A8596
Personnel files A8603
Administrative files of the Royal Commission Secretariat A8604
File register for A8604, administrative files of the Royal Commission Secretariat A8786
General correspondence records Northern Territory Office D4086
General correspondence records, Aboriginal Issues Unit, Alice Springs D4088
Press clippings D4090
General correspondence records, Victorian Office D4097
General correspondence files, Perth Office D4103
General correspondence records, Aboriginal Issues Unit, South Australia D4109
General correspondence files, Adelaide Office D4137
Queensland resource material D4159
South Australian administration files D4173
Administration files D4179
Broome administration records alphabetical order D4587
List of indexable headings for correspondence files E1165
ADMINISTRATIVE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH NSW/ADMIN PREFIX 1987–91
This series consists of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the New South Wales Office of the RCIADIC. Matters dealt with include staffing, petty cash, fitout of office premises, monthly reports and advertising.
Series: A8572
Quantity: 0.72 metres in Sydney
Administrative files – NSW Office – establishment and fitout of office premises A8572, NSW/Admin/2 part 2
Administrative files – NSW Office – monthly reports A8572, NSW/Admin/9
Administrative files – NSW Office – advertising A8572, NSW/Admin/17
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
PERTH ADMINISTRATION FILES, ABORIGINAL ISSUES UNIT, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1987–91
This series consists of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Aboriginal Issues Unit of the Western Australian Office of the RCIADIC. Matters dealt with include staffing, travel itineraries, regional reports and staff meetings.
Series: A8590
Quantity: 0.9 metres in Perth
Research Officer applications A8590, 2
Meeting: minutes A8590, 47
Discussion paper A8590, 73
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
PERTH ADMINISTRATION FILES – GENERAL, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1987–91
This series consists of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Western Australian Office of the RCIADIC. Matters dealt with include staffing, financing, fitout of office premises, monthly reports and hire of motor vehicles.
Series: A8591
Quantity: 0.9 metres in Perth
Commissioners A8591, 2
General: miscellaneous files and information A8591, 11
General: finance – forward estimates A8591, 32
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
PERTH ADMINISTRATION FILES – HEARINGS ADMINISTRATION, SINGLE NUMBER, 1987–91
This series consists of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Western Australian Office of the RCIADIC. Matters dealt with in this series are related to the hearings held in Western Australia, both individual hearings and underlying issues hearings. The twenty-eight files include such things as timing of hearings, witness expenses and a list of people interviewed.
Series: A8592
Quantity: 0.54 metres in Perth
Witness expenses A8592, 1
Broome hearings A8592, 20
Miscellaneous – professional A8592, 28
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
QUEENSLAND ADMINISTRATION AND LEGAL FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES WITH 'Q' PREFIX, 1987–91
This series consists of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Queensland Office of the RCIADIC. Matters dealt with include staffing, petty cash, fitout of office premises, monthly reports and advertising. Material from the Aboriginal Issues Unit has also been included in this series in Queensland and so the series includes any legal opinions requested and correspondence relating to various State and Commonwealth Acts and Regulations.
Series: A8596
Quantity: 7.38 metres in Brisbane
Accounts General A8596, Q1
Legislation affecting the Commission in Queensland A8596, Q8
Consultancies regional report administration and contacts A8596, Q204
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
PERSONNEL FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1987–91
These are personnel files for the approximately 300 direct employees of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. People working on contract are not included in this series. Each file contains material relating to aspects of employment by the Commission, typically including material relating to initial employment, leave provisions, separation from the Commission and any entitlements.
Series: A8603
Quantity: 2.88 metres in Canberra, 0.18 metres in Perth
Lindsay Ah-Mat A8603, 1
Michelle Mullins A8603, 185
Broome Office – Jackie Oakley A8603, 18
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records - that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
ADMINISTRATIVE FILES OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION SECRETARIAT, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1987–91
The files are related to the central secretariat of the Commission and are mainly concerned with coordination and checking of the work being done in the State offices. With the State office being largely autonomous the central secretariat was responsible for standardising terminology, filing systems and monitoring progress. Many of the original files in this series have apparently been placed in other State office series during the winding up of the Commission.
Series: A8604
Quantity: 15.3 metres in Canberra
Commission – terms of reference A8604, 37
Finance – financial tracking system A8604, 59
Meetings and seminars – summary of the commissioners' meetings A8604, 591
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
FILE REGISTER FOR A8604, ADMINISTRATIVE FILES OF THE ROYAL COMMISSION SECRETARIAT, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1987–91
This is a single item, a blue two ring binder containing a list of all files raised by the Commission's Secretariat. It also includes a list of all the subject headings used. The list includes all file numbers and titles in full.
Series: A8786
Quantity: 0.18 metres in Canberra
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS NORTHERN TERRITORY OFFICE, CHRONOLOGICAL SERIES, 1988–90
These eight files consist mainly of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Northern Territory Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes some copies of operational material dealing with cases as well as the normal administrative material dealing with staffing, petty cash, office premises, reports and advertising.
Series: D4086
Quantity: 0.90 metres in Darwin
5/2/1988 – 31/3/1989 D4086, 1
Outward 4/7/1990 D4086, 5
General matters (2) – case information (various dates) D4086, 8
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS, ABORIGINAL ISSUES UNIT, ALICE SPRINGS, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1989–90
These 37 files consist mainly of general correspondence material of the Aboriginal Issues Unit in Alice Springs. The Aboriginal Issues Unit consulted with Aboriginal organisations about issues related to deaths in custody. This series includes some material dealing with Aboriginal organisations as well as the normal administrative material dealing with instructions, office premises and reports.
Series: D4088
Quantity: 0.54 metres in Darwin
Catalogue of publications and products, 1989 D4088, 10
Press clippings (limited) D4088, 26
Discussion paper 'Why so many Warlpiri and Anmatyerre Deaths in Custody?' October 1989 D4088, 37
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
PRESS CLIPPINGS, CHRONOLOGICAL SERIES, 1987–90
These press clippings are mainly photocopied articles from newspapers relating to all aspects of the Commission and Aboriginal people in Australia. From September 1988 a national service was provided by Monitar Pty Ltd. In November 1990 the South Australian administration of RCIADIC switched to a local service and other regions may also have switched to other commercial services about this time. This material appears to consist entirely of clippings from newspapers.
Series: D4090
Quantity: 2.88 metres in Adelaide, 2.7 metres in Darwin, 2.7 metres in Sydney, 1.08 metres in Perth
South Australian Region – Box 1 – Item 1–8 August 1987 to November 1987 D4090, 1–8
Northern Territory Region – 1/11/1990 to 27/11/1990 D4090, 44
West Australian – 17/8/1990 to 10/10/1990 D4090, 16
Public access to the records: These records are publicly available.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS, VICTORIAN OFFICE, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1988–90
These files consist of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Victorian Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes the normal administrative material dealing with staffing, petty cash, office premises, reports and advertising. There are also statistics and general information provided by other State offices.
Series: D4097
Quantity: 1.26 metres in Melbourne
General correspondence records Victorian Office – City of Swan Hill conferences D4097, 1
General correspondence records Victorian Office – itinerary Bairnsdale/Morwell/Echuca D4097, 37
General correspondence records Victorian Office – proposal for the development of an Aboriginal primary health care unit, Monash University, undated D4097, 135
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, PERTH OFFICE, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1988–90
These files consist mainly of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Western Australian Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes some copies of operational material dealing with underlying issues as well as the normal administrative material dealing with, for example, staffing, petty cash, office premises, reports and advertising.
Series: D4103
Quantity: 4.86 metres in Perth
24/4/1989 to 31/3/1989 D4103, 1
CDBR [Committee to Defend Black Rights] correspondence file 8/1/1990 D4103, 46
Review – case representation D4103, 79
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS, ABORIGINAL ISSUES UNIT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES 1989–90
These eight files consist of correspondence and administrative material relating to various aspects of the Aboriginal Issues Unit, South Australian Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes some copies of correspondence with various individuals and organisations as well as administrative material dealing with staffing, minutes of meetings and newsletters.
Series: D4109
Quantity: 0.36 metres in Adelaide
Folder containing employment contracts, vacancies, circulation lists, staff telephone lists, AIU information, minutes of meetings, style sheet, lecture attendances and approvals, Structural Efficiency Information Bulletin D4109, 1
Folder containing chapters for the national report D4109, 4
Folder containing survey papers, list of journal articles and transcripts, Bail Custody and Analysis Review Committee, information relating to identity/kinship, letter from Dennis Walker President Nunukul/Ngugi Cultural Heritage, report from R Bleechmore to R Hammond re: Gary Sutton/ Henry William Carter D4109, 6
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ADELAIDE OFFICE, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1988–90
These sixteen files consist of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the South Australian Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes normal administrative material dealing with staffing, expert evidence, overview of topics and the organisation of reports.
Series: D4137
Quantity: 2.52 metres in Adelaide
Copies of Department of Aboriginal Affairs files – 87/1134 parts 1 to 4, 87/178 (copy) D4137, 1
Michael Gollan – Royal Commission D4137, 4
Health/resuscitation training – government D4137, 8
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
QUEENSLAND RESOURCE MATERIAL, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1988–90
These files consist of general background material relating to all aspects of the work of the Queensland Office of the RCIADIC. This 'resource material' includes annual reports, acts, bibliographies, settlement volumes, general exhibits and submissions. Some of this material relates just to Queensland. Other material is for the Commission throughout Australia.
Series: D4159
Quantity: 1.8 metres in Brisbane
Queensland: annual reports – The Chief Protector of Aboriginals D4159, 1
Queensland: general bibliography R – ROL D4159, 30
Queensland: Uniting Church documents – Aurukun D4159, 70
Public access to the records: Many documents in this series were published documents collected by the Commission's researchers – these are publicly available. Other documents will need assessment subject to the formal access arrangements (see page 12 of the Guide for an explanation of the formal access arrangements).
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN ADMINISTRATION FILES, ALPHANUMERIC SERIES WITH 'SA' PREFIX, 1988–90
These files consist mainly of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the South Australian Office of the RCIADIC. The series is divided into a number of major groupings, the largest are – Accommodation, Administration, Equipment, Finance, Travel and Royal Commission matters. Files dealing with personnel have been taken from this series and placed in series A8603, Personnel Files, single number series.
Series: D4173
Quantity: 2.34 metres in Adelaide
Accommodation – office Adelaide part 1, 2 D4173, SA/1/1
Administration – public relations D4173, SA/2/20
Finance – legal fees D4173, SA/4/7
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
ADMINISTRATION FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES WITH 'NT' PREFIX, 1988–90
These files consist mainly of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Northern Territory Office of the RCIADIC. This series includes material dealing with staffing, petty cash, office premises, reports and advertising.
Series: D4179
Quantity: 1.44 metres in Darwin
Administration files Northern Territory – office accommodation D4179, NT/1/1
Administration Files Northern Territory – Court Bookings –Hearings D4179, NT/2/10
Administration files Northern Territory – Aboriginal Issues Unit – applications (parts 1–2) D4179, NT/8/3
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
BROOME ADMINISTRATION RECORDS ALPHABETICAL ORDER, 1989–91
These files consist of administrative material relating to various 'housekeeping' matters of the Broome Office of the RCIADIC in Western Australia. This series is held in manilla folders and includes material dealing with staffing, finance, office premises, reports and advertising.
Series: D4587
Quantity: 0.72 metres in Perth
Meetings/conferences – Broome D4587, 20
Premises D4587, 30
Miscellaneous photographs of – Derby, Fitzroy Crossing, Mary River bush meeting, students at Nulungu College D4587, 52
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.
LIST OF INDEXABLE HEADINGS FOR CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1989–90
This is a printed copy of the list of headings used as a subject index to file and locate material held by the Commission. The list is held on computer. A copy has been printed for reference use.
Series: E1165
Quantity: 0.09 metres in Darwin
Public access to the records: This series consists of administrative records of the Royal Commission. The access provisions of the Archives Act 1983 apply to the records – that is, they become eligible for public access when they reach 30 years of age.

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