Open Place Records, Find and Connect staff will assist and support Forgotten Australians to access records of time in care and family records, to undertake family searches and in some cases to assist with family reunions.

The Records, Find and Connect worker will support you to apply for documents that Record Holder agencies such as the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and their Interstate counterparts, and non-State agencies with responsibility for the heritage and records of former Children’s Homes, Orphanages and Institutions, may hold about you. The worker can apply on your behalf or give you information and guidance about how to apply yourself.

Face-to-face support can be arranged throughout the search journey as we understand that receiving your files can induce mixed emotions. The Records, Find and Connect workers can assist you with application forms, explain where the records may be held and how they can be accessed, how long the search may take, and what to expect in the records. The workers can also offer support in receiving your records, and follow up afterwards if required. We always recommend that Forgotten Australians receive counselling through the search process. You may like to take the opportunity to access counselling through Open Place or with your chosen counsellor while you undertake your records search.

Open Place can also advocate on your behalf if you feel you are not getting an adequate response to your application.

The Records and Find and Connect worker can also assist you through the process of searching for the following important documents:

  • Former Ward of State records
  • Records relating to time in care from non-State agencies
  • Photographs (where possible, if existing)
  • Birth certificates for yourself and your family members (where Privacy Legislation and timeframes allow).
  • Death notices and certificates of your family members (where Privacy Legislations and timeframes allow).
  • Marriage certificates of your family members (where Privacy Legislations and timeframes allow).
  • Family member military records.
  • Family member immigration/passenger records.

If you would like to find out more about accessing your records please contact us