Don’t you love it when you hear of new projects that start up, and you can see the potential for it to not only be huge, but so useful to others as well! This is how I feel about Find & Connect.

Find & Connect is a project that only began late last year which is designed to connect forgotten Australians, former child migrants, orphans and those in Children’s Homes to their families as well as information and records, and to see where their their story fits into the broader historical context.

Covering all states of Australia, this project aims to compile information on each ‘Home’ whether it was Government run, privately run, or run by a religious organisation such as Catholic, Anglican, Salvation Army etc. Places include Reformatories, Training Centres, Rescue Agencies, Orphanages, Children’s Home, Industrial Schools and more. Trust me, no other project compiling all this information together has been done, so Find & Connect will be THE Number 1 place to look for records when you get asked about this Australian orphanage, or Child Migrant Hostel.

As mentioned before, this is a BIG project as they are compiling information on the who hold the records of the children who stayed there, the people who worked there, as well as details on the home itself – for EACH ‘Home’ – yes that’s a LOT of Homes. As you can imagine compiling this information is going to take time, but with dedicated researchers on their team, there is already a lot of information on their website. This ongoing project together with any information the public has, this is certainly going to be an amazingly, valuable record of historical information.

The Find & Connect website is easy to use. Firstly you choose which state you’d like to search, then you are presented with a few options:
– you can search by name of organisation or suburb
– look for an organisation alphabetically or by date
– look for a public figure alphabetically
– or browse a category

As a sample, here’s a link to the  Sacred Heart Orphanage (1940 – 1979) in South Australia’s page. It gives you a summary of the orphanage, where it was, the dates it ran from and to, who the records are managed by, who it is run by, links to relates series and online resourses, and a gallery of photos (though there aren’t always).

So if you are after information relating to Australian children’s ‘out-of-home’ care, or have information on any places or people that were involved with these ‘Homes’ be sure to head on over to Find & Connect.