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Research Guides


Collections in Perth: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


24. Social Welfare and Rehabilitation

The Agency

The agency of Director of Social Services was established under the Social Services Act 1947, which brought together earlier social services legislation.

Access to some records may be restricted because they contain personally sensitive information.

  • 1947–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)

The Records

CORRESPONDENCE FILES (POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION), MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1947–76 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1921–75)
Perth
This series contains correspondence files about agency policy, functions and administration.
Series: K470
Quantity: 1.8 metres
Recorded by: 1947–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1948–73
Perth
Records in this series contain correspondence about the operation of hospitals, friendly societies and other health organisations.
Series: PP544/1
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1948–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ESTABLISHMENT RECORDS, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1948–79
PErth
Records in this series deal with establishment matters such as staff allocation and withdrawal, the transfer of positions to and from the bulk reserve pool, and the creation of new positions.
Series: K76
Quantity: 0.9 metres
Recorded by: 1948–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SUBSIDISED AGED PENSION HOMES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, ALPHABETICAL PREFIXES, 1955–75
Perth
This series contains correspondence files about the operation and maintenance of homes and institutions for aged people.
Series: PP572/1
Quantity: 3.43 metres
Recorded by: 1955–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)
CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS AND REPORTS OF REGISTERED HEALTH BENEFIT ORGANISATIONS, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, 1958–70
Perth
This series contains correspondence files about the constitutional rules and operations of various hospital contribution funds and benefit organisations.
Series: PP547/2
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1958–70: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, PARTIAL ALPHABETICAL SUFFIXES, 1958–75
Perth
This series contains correspondence files about the provision of funding assistance for handicapped and aged persons.
Series: PP684/1
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1958–72: Director of Social Services, WA (CA 848)

Veterans' affairs and repatriation

The Agencies

A report to the Commonwealth Parliament in 1915 recommended the establishment of an agency to assist World War I servicemen settle back into civilian life. In 1917, the Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Actwas passed to manage funds and liaise with appropriate State agencies (eg State war councils and the land settlement agencies).

The Act established a repatriation commission to assist both discharged Australian servicemen and the widows and children of deceased or incapacitated soldiers. Boards were established in each State to determine claims for pensions and to assess pension rates. The principal Act also set up appeals tribunals.

Access to many records in these series is restricted because they contain sensitive information about individuals that could cause distress if released.

Case files are available only to the individuals who were the subjects of the files or their next-of-kin. A Discretionary Access form must be completed before any file can be viewed.

  • 1915–18: State War Council, WA (CA 7594)
  • 1918–20: Deputy Controller (Comptroller) of Repatriation, WA (CA 7595)
  • 1920–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)

The Records

Records created by the agencies responsible for the veterans' affairs and rehabilitation function occupy thousands of metres of shelf space at the Perth Office of the National Archives. These records are mainly case files dating from the early 1900s through to the present. They record (often in great detail) medical issues, hospital treatment, pensions and other matters about ex-service personnel and their family members. The case files may contain duplicated information about the subjects' military service.

Researchers seeking military service information should initially consult their subjects' service dossiers, which may be accessed through the Canberra Office and the Melbourne Office of the Archives. Fact Sheet 63 – Military service (sources of information) – provides further information about this subject.

CORRESPONDENCE FILES, MULTIPLE NUMBER SERIES, ALPHABETICAL PREFIXES, 1915–27
Perth
This series contains four correspondence files about the establishment and administration of the WA War Council and its successors.
Series: K1031
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1915–18: State War Council, WA (CA 7594); 1918–20: Deputy Controller (Comptroller) of Repatriation, WA (CA 7595); 1920–27: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
ASSISTANCE AND MEDICAL FILES, 1914–18 WAR, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'R' PREFIX, 1916–54
Perth
This series contains medical history sheets and details of any assistance given to ex-servicemen of World War I. Assistance includes financial aid, educational grants, tools-of-trade grants and help in finding employment. Among the documents contained in the records are applications made to assistance committees and the outcome of such applications.
Series: PP2/8
Quantity: 145.62 metres
Recorded by: 1920–54: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
VETERANS' CHILDREN EDUCATION SCHEME, INDEX CARDS, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1921–
Perth
This series contains index cards for veterans' children who were eligible to receive education allowances. The scheme applied to children of veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Malayan War and the Vietnam War.
Series: K524
Quantity: 2.34 metres
Recorded by: 1921–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
PERSONAL CASE FILES, VETERANS' CHILDREN EDUCATION SCHEME, ALPHABETICAL ORDER, 1921–
Perth
This series contains sample files which detail the administration of the veterans' children education scheme, including applications, eligibility, allowances, courses, questionnaires and reports.
Series: K613
Quantity: 1.44 metres
Recorded by: 1921–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
REPATRIATION BOARD, MINUTES OF MEETINGS AND REASONS FOR DECISIONS, CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, 1939–83 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1964–76)
Perth
This series contains minutes of Repatriation Board meetings and reasons for the board's decisions on pension cases.
Series: K82
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1939–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
PERSONAL CASE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'MAL' PREFIX, 1939–
Perth
This series contains records of pensions paid to members of the Malayan and Singaporean volunteer forces taken prisoner by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore.
Series: K386
Quantity: 0.72 metres
Recorded by: 1939–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
REGISTER OF DEATH OF SERVICEMEN WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR I, CHRONOLOGICAL SERIES, 1951–61
Perth
Series: K55
Quantity: 0.45 metres
Recorded by: 1951–61: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
REGISTER OF DEATH OF SERVICEMEN WHO SERVED IN WORLD WAR II, CHRONOLOGICAL SERIES, 1951–61
Perth
Series: K54
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1951–61: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
PERSONAL CASE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'AGX' PREFIX, 1955–
Perth
This series contains files on act-of-grace medical, hospital and pension benefits extended to non-official participants in World War II and later campaigns. These participants include members of the Salvation Army and the Young Men's Christian Association.
Series: K378
Quantity: 1.44 metres
Recorded by: 1955–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
PERSONAL CASE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'X' AND OTHER LETTER PREFIXES, 1956–
Perth
This series contains the medical, hospital, pension and education files of Australian Defence Force personnel who served in World War II, and their dependants.
Series: K26
Quantity: 595 metres
Recorded by: 1956–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)
PERSONAL CASE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'M' AND OTHER LETTER PREFIXES, 1956–
Perth
This series contains the medical, hospital, pension and education files of Australian Defence Force personnel who served in World War I, the Korean War, the Malayan War and the Far Eastern Strategic Reserve, and their dependants.
Series: K60
Quantity: 142 metres
Recorded by: 1956–76: Deputy Commissioner of Repatriation, WA (CA 880)

War service homes

The Agencies

In Western Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia initially acted as the agent for the War Service Homes Commission (WSHC). The commission was established towards the end of World War I to assist ex-service personnel to secure home loans.

The War Service Homes Commission, WA Office was apparently established in March 1920, but the Western Australia Workers Homes Board acted as the commission's agent between 1921 and 1947. After 1947, the State Housing Commission, WA, performed the role of agent for the commission. However, early in 1964 the Department of Housing, State Office, WA was established to administer war service housing matters.

  • 1919–20: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (as agent for the WSHC), WA (CA 4807)
  • 1920–21: WSHC, WA (CA 3158)
  • 1921–47: Western Australia Workers Homes Board (as agent for the WSHC), WA (CA 4808)
  • 1947–64: State Housing Commission, (as agent for the WSHC), WA (CA 4809)
  • 1964–73: Department of Housing, State Office, WA (CA 1787)

The Records

The correspondence series listed below mostly consist of applications made by ex-service personnel for assistance in buying existing houses or in building on land they already owned or on land owned by the War Service Homes Commission. The records detail agency consideration of applications and loan repayments made by successful applicants.

CORRESPONDENCE FILES (SAMPLE FILES ONLY), SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'J1' PREFIX, 1919–60
Perth
This series contains sample files of ex-service personnel (World War I) who applied for assistance under the War Service Homes Agreement Act 1932.
Series: PP801/1
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1919–20: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, WA (as agent for the War Service Homes Commission) (CA 4807); 1920–21: War Service Homes Commission (WSHC), WA (CA 3158); 1921–47: Western Australia Workers Homes Board (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4808); 1947–60: State Housing Commission, WA (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4809)
GROUP BUILDING AND LAND FILES, PROJECT AND CONSTRUCTION FILES, 1922–60
Perth
This series contains correspondence files on technical data and construction costs for homes erected under the group building scheme. It also includes material on acquisitions, disposals, valuations, subdivisions, drainage and the creation of reserves.
Series: PP140/1
Quantity: 22.14 metres
Recorded by: 1922–47: Western Australia Workers Homes Board (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4808); 1947–60: State Housing Commission, WA (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4809)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 'J2' PREFIX, 1941–69
Perth
This series contains sample files of ex-service personnel (World War II) who applied for assistance under the War Service Homes Act 1932.
Series: PP802/1
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1941–47: Western Australia Workers Homes Board (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4808); 1947–64: State Housing Commission, WA (as agent for the WSHC) (CA 4809); 1964–69: Department of Housing, State Office, WA (CA 1787)

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