Access to Records by Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants: *Access Principles for Records Holders, *Best Practice Guidelines in providing access to records, June 2015 (Principles and Guidelines)

The ‘Access to Records by Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants: Access Principles for Records Holders and Best Practice Guidelines in providing access to records’ (Principles and Guidelines) June 2015 was developed by Recordkeeping Innovation on behalf of the Department of Social Services (DSS), in consultation with a Records Access Working Group and the Find and Connect Advisory Group.  Both the Working Group and Advisory Group include membership of the Find and Connect Support Services, representative organisations and state and territory governments.  Both groups endorsed the final Principles and Guidelines in July 2015.   The Principles and Guidelines form a component of the response to the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

The Principles and Guidelines address three recommendations made by the Community Affairs References Committee report, Forgotten Australians: A report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children August 2004 (Senate Inquiry), in particular:  

  • supporting government and non-government agencies to agree on how care leavers, upon proof of identity only, can view all information relating to themselves and receive a full copy of such documents
  • records being provided free of charge, and
  • compassionate interpretation of legislation to allow information to be released to enable care leavers to identify their family and background.

The Department and the Advisory Group are working towards assisting state and territory governments and service providers to implement records access practices in a nationally consistent manner.  

The Principles and Guidelines are available for download.

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