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Research Guides


Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia


Boy Scout youth migration

In 1927, the Victorian Branch of the Boy Scout Association lodged nominations for assisted passages for selected boy scouts from the United Kingdom aged fifteen to nineteen years old for farm work in the state. The branch accepted responsibility for their placement in employment and after-care. Until 1930 when assisted migration ceased some 200 young men had been introduced.

In many ways, the Boy Scout Association was duplicating the work managed by the Victorian Branch of the Big Brother Movement. However, in the late 1930s the latter got into financial difficulties and in 1941 the Victorian Branch of the Big Brother Movement was dissolved and its remaining funds and assets were handed over to the scouts. In the 1950s, there was again Boy Scout Association interest in sponsoring youth migration from Britain and a small number of young people were assisted to settle in Australia.

The one or two files here reflect the brief passing interest of the Boy Scout Association in youth migration.

CORRESPONDENCE FILES, 1934–50
Canberra
Series: A461
Quantity: 143.82 metres
Recorded by: 1934–50: Prime Minister's Department (CA 12)
Migration – Boy Scouts, 1937 [2 pages]
The file contains two newspaper cuttings: Sydney Morning Herald, 19 January 1937 and Herald (Melbourne) of the day before. In the former, the South Australian Premier announced that Sir Percy Everett, who was one of the Centenary visitors, represented the World Chief Scout and Imperial Headquarters at the Boy Scout 'corroboree' at Belair. The latter cutting refers to discussions regarding resuming youth migration under Scout auspices to South Australia. Imperial Headquarters had been left a legacy for the purpose. The South Australian Government was sympathetic but nothing appears to have come of the proposal at this stage.
A461, L349/1/7
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1948–65
Adelaide
Series: D400
Quantity: 435 metres
Recorded by: 1948–66: Department of Immigration, SA Branch (CA 959)
Child Migration – Victorian Boy Scout Organisation, 1954 D400, SA1954/1497

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Chapter 3
Guide to the Records