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Research Guides

Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia

Appendix 3: Voluntary and church organisations involved in child migration work

Australian Jewish Welfare Society – formed in 1937 with the amalgamation of several existing organisations; selected, sponsored and received Jewish refugees, mainly adults but some unaccompanied children and teenagers.

Big Brother Movement – a juvenile migration scheme, founded in 1924 by Sir Richard Linton. Australian men (called 'Big Brothers') acted as father figures to youths arriving in Australia from Britain to work on the land (until 1939) or to work in either city or rural areas (after 1947).

Boy Scout Association – sponsored juvenile immigration to Australia, mainly to Queensland.

British Settlers Welfare Committee – established in 1931 for the purpose of attending to the after-care of youth arriving in New South Wales as assisted immigrants.

Catholic Emigration Society/Association – based in London, this organisation coordinated the child emigration 'rescue' aspect of Catholic welfare agencies in Britain after 1902.

Catholic Episcopal Migration and Welfare Association – based in Perth, the CEMWA was founded in 1947 to assume the role of custodian for all Catholic child migrants brought to Western Australia.

Child Emigration Society – based in Oxford, in association with the Farm School Society of Western Australia it sponsored child migrants for settlement at Kingsley Fairbridge's Farm School at Pinjarra, south of Perth, from 1913.

Christian Brothers – a Roman Catholic religious order, founded in 1802 at Waterford, Ireland by a former businessman, Edmund Rice, for the education of poor boys. Brothers first arrived in Melbourne in 1868. The largest male religious order in Australia, it managed the four Western Australian Catholic orphanages (Clontarf, Castledare, Bindoon and Tardun) which received child migrants, first in 1938–39 and in larger numbers after 1947.

Church Army (Anglican) – brought teenagers, mainly to Queensland, for farm work both before and after World War I.

Church of England Immigration (Migration) Council (or Committee) – under the leadership of Canon D Garland the Council assisted, by group nomination, many young men to come to Queensland during the late 1920s.

Church of England Society for Empire Settlement – a London-based organisation which coordinated Anglican child and youth migration to Australia.

Dr Barnardo's Homes – commenced child migration to New South Wales in 1921, assisted by the Millions Club.

Dreadnought Trust – established in 1909 to assist and support young men to come to Australia to be trained for work on the land.

Methodist Church – through four Australian homes, accepted 91 child migrants during the 1950s. These children were sent by the National Children's Homes, Great Britain.

Millions Club – formed in Sydney in 1916. Its founder, Sir Joseph Carruthers, campaigned to settle 'a million farmers on a million farms' in New South Wales and Victoria.

New Settlers League – formed in 1921, the League was a voluntary body receiving government assistance to welcome and assist British immigrants, especially young people. It had branches in most states, in Western Australia as a sub-branch of the Ugly Men's Association. Only the Queensland branch continued to operate after 1930.

Presbyterian Church – initiated a small child migration scheme during the 1950s from Scotland to a home, Dhurringile, near Tatura in the northern Victoria.

Salvation Army – was the main Christian organisation involved in youth migration during the 1920s. During the last phase of child and youth migration to Australia, it assisted a small number of teenagers to settle in Queensland through its Riverview Farm School near Brisbane.

Sisters of Mercy – took a limited number of child migrants into their orphanages at Goodwood, South Australia, and Neerkol, via Rockhampton, Queensland.

Sisters of Nazareth – cooperated with the Christian Brothers in sending many of the boys in their care in English institutions to the Brothers' orphanages in Western Australia. They took some girls from Britain into their home at Geraldton after World War II.

Young Australia League – brought youth to Western Australia, doing for that state what the Dreadnought Trust and the Big Brother Movement were arranging in New South Wales and Victoria.

Young Christian Workers Movement – a Catholic association which brought some young men to Victoria in the 1950s.

Young Men's Christian Association – worked in conjunction with certain Protestant churches in promoting child migration during the 1920s.