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Research Guides


Near Neighbours: Records on Australia's Relations with Indonesia


6. Immigration Records

The Department of Interior carried out the immigration function before the Department of Immigration was created in July 1945. Initially the new department had only one overseas representative, the Chief Migration Officer, who, along with his staff, was based in London. The department was responsible for the administration of all matters to do with immigration, emigration, nationality, naturalisation and aliens.

In 1947 the number of staff in London was increased and offices of the department were established in Berlin, Paris, New York, San Francisco and New Delhi. In Cairo, an officer of the Department of Information handled immigration issues. By 1963 the department had established posts in Stockholm, The Hague, Cologne, Geneva, Rome, Athens, Madrid, Vienna, Malta, Cairo, Nairobi, Belgium and Hong Kong.

The Department of External Affairs administered migration rules on behalf of the Department of Immigration in countries where Australian Migration Offices had not been established, including Indonesia and Portuguese Timor.

Branches of the department were established in all Australian States and the Northern Territory. By 1951 considerable immigration work was being carried out in Broome because of indentured labour, which included a number of Indonesians employed in the pearling industry. The position of Sub-collector, Broome was created to handle these matters. Officers from Broome were also used to handle shipping matters at Yampi, Wyndham and Derby (until 1966 when a sub-collector was appointed there).

CORRESPONDENCE FILES, CLASS 2 RESTRICTED IMMIGRATION, 1939–50
Canberra
Records in this series deal with restricted immigration to Australia, ie admission of Asians, coloured persons, business visitors, deserters, deportees and undesirables.
Series: A433
Quantity: 12.6 metres
Recorded by: 1939: Department of the Interior I, Central Administration (CA 27); 1939–45: Department of the Interior II, Central Office (CA 31); 1945–50: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Netherlands subjects evacuated from Netherlands East Indies to Australia, 1942–55 A433, 1949/2/8515
Admission of 4 000 Indonesians, 1944 A433, 1949/2/8526
Indonesians at Casino New South Wales camp, representations by NSW Government to close the camp, 1945–47 A433, 1947/2/1949
Indonesians in Australia, arrangements for repatriation, 1945–48 A433, 1949/2/8187
Indonesian patients in Turramurra Hospital, question of repatriation, 1945–50 A433, 1949/2/67
Indonesians detained at Casino camp, question of Commonwealth control pending repatriation, 1946–47 A433, 1949/2/518
Australian wives of Indonesians, question of assistance, 1946–50 A433, 1949/2/4823
Pearson, Muriel, 'Sourabaya Sue', exemption, 1947 A433, 1947/2/3253
Indonesians and Eurasians, admission, 1947–49 A433, 1949/2/2092
Indonesians at Casino camp, question of Commonwealth control pending repatriation, part 1, 1947–49 A433, 1949/2/8186
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, CLASS 11 MIGRANTS SURNAMES A–C, 1951–52
Canberra

This series consists of individual case files dealing with naturalisation, resettlement and deportation matters, and applications for passports. The file number and the name of the individual or subject appear on the front cover of each folder. Records in this series cover surnames from A to C. The following series cover the remainder of the alphabet:

  • A440: Class 12 surnames D–G
  • A441: Class 13 surnames H–K
  • A442: Class 14 surnames L–N
  • A443: Class 15 surnames O–S
  • A444: Class 16 surnames T–Z

Generally surnames in each series conform to the scheme shown above, but many exceptions occur because of name changes, anglicisation of foreign spelling and misinterpretation of foreign names.

Series: A439
Quantity: 6.6 metres
Recorded by: 1951–52: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Flight ex-Djakarta, Dutch ex-servicemen from Indonesia, 1951 A439, 1951/11/714
Flight ex-Djakarta 22/1/1951, Dutch ex-servicemen from Indonesia, 1950–51 A439, 1951/11/752
Charter flight ex-Djakarta, Dutch ex-servicemen from Indonesia, 1951 A439, 1951/11/1158
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, CLASS 16 MIGRANTS T–Z, 1951–52
Canberra
Please see the series information for A439.
Series: A444
Quantity: 6.9 metres
Recorded by: 1951–52: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Flight ex-Djakarta – Dutch ex-servicemen from Indonesia, 1951 A444, 1951/16/2770
Flight ex-Djakarta 30/3/51, Dutch ex-servicemen from Indonesia, 1951 A444, 1951/16/3060
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, POLICY MATTERS, 1951–55
Canberra
This series consists of immigration policy files about the assimilation, welfare and education of migrants.
Series: A445
Quantity: 29 metres
Recorded by: 1951–55: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Dutch servicemen from Indonesia, 1950 A445, 178/1/4
Dutch servicemen from Indonesia, part 2, 1950–51 A445, 178/1/16
Tjibajak, ex-Djakarta, 1952 A445, 274/62/1
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES – BLOCK ALLOCATIONS, 1953–
Canberra and Sydney
This series consists of individual case and policy files dealing with assisted passage, passports, naturalisation, deportation and related issues. This series is now recorded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (CA 8243).
Series: A446
Quantity: 2,706 metres in Canberra and 700 metres in Sydney
Recorded by: 1953–74: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Australian Embassy Djakarta, nationality instructions, 1949–71 A446, 1962/65593
Unassisted migration from Timor, 1951–75 A446, 1965/46978
Return of Indonesian students in Australia, 1964 A446, 1964/47020
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, CLASS 1, GENERAL, PASSPORTS, 1939–50
Canberra
This series contains general correspondence files of the Department of the Interior until late 1945 and, from mid-1945, the miscellaneous and passport files of the newly created Department of Immigration.
Series: A659
Quantity: 101 metres
Recorded by: 1939: Department of the Interior I, Central Administration (CA 27); 1939–45: Department of the Interior II, Central Office (CA 31); 1945–50: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Australian servicemen's graves, Timor, 1945 A659, 1945/1/5785
Australian wives of Netherlands nationals in Netherlands East Indies, obtaining British passports, 1947–48 A659, 1947/1/232
Statement to House of Representatives by Rt Hon. H V Evatt, United Nations Assembly meeting includes copy of Netherlands–Indonesian agreement, 1947–48 A659, 1947/1/522
Australian wives of Dutch subjects in the Netherlands East Indies, exit permits, 1948 A659, 1948/1/1490
SECRET CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, BLOCK ALLOCATIONS, 'S' SECRET PREFIX, 1972–
Canberra

This series contains individual case and policy files dealing with assisted passage, passports, applications for naturalisation, deportation, and related matters.

This series is now recorded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (CA 8243).

Series: A6980
Quantity: 79 metres
Recorded by: 1972–74: Department of Immigration, Central Office (CA 51)
Indonesians engaged in pearling industry, 1951–60 A6980, S250243
Asian-African Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, 1955 A6980, S250367
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL NUMBER SERIES, 'N' NEW SOUTH WALES PREFIX, 1946–50
Sydney
This series contains general correspondence records for the department between 1946 and 1950. The records have not yet been listed individually in RecordSearch. Some files include inward aircraft passenger manifests for Dutch migrants from Indonesia.
Series: C1491
Quantity: 1 metre
Recorded by: 1946–50: Department of Immigration, New South Wales Branch (CA 957)
Immigration, general correspondence files, 1950–51 C1491
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 'N' NEW SOUTH WALES PREFIX, 1952–1977
Sydney
This series contains three items relevant to this guide.
Series: C3939
Quantity: 38.7 metres
Recorded by: 1952–74: Department of Immigration, New South Wales Branch (CA 957); 1974–75: Immigration Group, Department of Labor and Immigration, Regional Administration, New South Wales (CA 1995); 1975–77: Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs I, Regional Administration, New South Wales (CA 1968)
Immigration, Dutch migrants from Indonesia, 1958 C3939, N1958/75079
Immigration, issue of re-entry authority to passengers touring Portuguese Timor, 1964 C3939, N1964/75173
Immigration, entry of Indonesian nationals as visitors, 1964 C3939, N1964/75183
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'SA' SOUTH AUSTRALIA PREFIX, 1948–66
Adelaide and Sydney
Records in this series deal with immigration policy and departmental operations and administration. Some individual case files are also found in the series.
Series: D400
Quantity: 236 metres in Adelaide and 114 metres in Sydney
Recorded by: 1948–66: Department of Immigration, South Australian Branch (CA 959)
Nominal roll of Dutch migrants, ex-Tjbadak Indonesia, arrived at Bathurst, 25 February 1952 D400, SA1952/3746
Harahap, Wildemar, Indonesian, admission as student, 1953 D400, SA1953/480
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1949–
Darwin
This series mainly consists of immigration case files. Some items concern immigrants and potential immigrants from Indonesia and Portuguese Timor. It is now recorded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Northern Territory Office (CA 8258).
Series: E37
Quantity: 263.5 metres
Recorded by: 1949–74: Department of Immigration, Northern Territory Branch (CA 759)
ALIENS REGISTRATION FILES, 1949–
Darwin

This series consists of 'Application for Registration by Alien Entering Australia' forms, which were filled out by applicants wishing to reside permanently in Australia. The forms include passport-sized photographs of applicants. Some applicants were from Indonesia and Portuguese Timor.

The series is now recorded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Northern Territory Office (CA 8258).

Series: E40
Quantity: 8.1 metres
Recorded by: CA 759 (1949–74: Department of Immigration, Northern Territory Branch)
CASE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1946–
Brisbane
This series contains case files on people entering Australia for permanent or temporary residence, and on people departing Australia voluntarily or subject to deportation. It contains several items on Dutch migrants from Indonesia during the 1950s. This series is now recorded by Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, State Office, Queensland (CA 8244).
Series: J25
Quantity: 1,056 metres
Recorded by: 1946–74: Department of Immigration, Queensland Branch (CA 958)
ALIEN REGISTRATION DOCUMENTS, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1948–65
Perth

This series contains alien registration documents for about 180 Indonesians and Timorese who arrived in Western Australia either directly or through other Australian States or the Northern Territory.

Other items in this series contain registration documents for Dutch immigrants to Australia from Indonesia in the 1950s. Item titles show the names of aliens being registered, their nationality, and the means and date of their arrival in Australia.

Series: K1331
Quantity: 56.7 metres
Recorded by: 1948–65: Department of Immigration, Western Australian Branch (CA 962)
Loekman Mansur, nationality: Indonesian, arrived in Sydney per aircraft, 1961–62 K1331, 1962/1963/LOEKMAN M
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'H' INFIX, 1926–50
Perth
Records in this series deal with all aspects of migration, including applications for admission to Australia as a migrant, naturalisation applications, reports on unsuitable migrants and action taken in respect of deportees. This series includes a few items dealing with the arrival of Dutch immigrants from Indonesia during and immediately after World War II.
Series: PP6/1
Quantity: 36.5 metres
Recorded by: 1926–45: Collector of Customs from 1985, the Australian Customs Service, Western Australia (CA 808); 1945–50: Department of Immigration, Western Australian Branch (CA 962)

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