Gippsland Family Services (1979–97)


  • Auspice: Anglican Church, Mission of St James and St John
  • Name: Gippsland Family Services (1979– 97)
  • Other names: Anglicare (from 1997) 

Gippsland Family Services history in brief

From 1919, the Mission of St James and St John provided homes for young Anglican boys and girls in need. In 1976, the Mission opened Thurana family group home in Traralgon. In 1978, the Mission took over Community Services Victoria's family aid program.

In 1979, the Mission launched Gippsland Family Services in the parish centre of St Mary's Church Traralgon. During the 1980s Gippsland Family Services established The Manor, an emergency house for families in crisis, a handyman service, a family extension (foster grandparents) program and Central Gippsland Foster Care in Moe.

In the late 1980s, Gippsland Family Services moved to new premises in Church Street Morwell. In 1992, Gippsland Family Services opened its second Permanent Care program.

In 1997, the Mission of St James and St John amalgamated with the Mission to the Streets and Lanes and St John's Home for Boys and Girls, to form Anglicare.

Warning about distressing information

This guide contains information that some people may find distressing. If you experienced abuse as a child or young person in an institution mentioned in this guide, it may be a difficult reading experience. Guides may also contain references to previous views, policies and practices that are regrettable and do not reflect the current views, policies or practices of the department or the State of Victoria. If you find this content distressing, please consult with a support person either from the Department of Health and Human Services or another agency.


Please note that the content of this administrative history is provided for general information only and does not purport to be comprehensive. The department does not guarantee the accuracy of this administrative history. For more information on the history of child welfare in Australia, see Find & ConnectExternal Link .


  • Guide to out-of-home care services 1940–2000: volume one – agency descriptions, compiled by James Jenkinson Consulting, North Melbourne, November 2001.

List of records held by the department

For information relating to the central management of care leavers and wards of state, please consult the guide to Central department wardship and out-of-home care records. These collections date back to the 1860s and include ward registers, index cards and ward files.

Defunct Agency Adoption Records (Adoption Information Service) (1920-82)

File; Permanent VPRS Number 17943 / P0001

Content: The Adoption Act 1984 allowed approved agencies to arrange and negotiate the adoption of children. It also required that agencies keep certain records. If an agency’s approval or operations ceased, their records were to be forwarded to the Secretary of the Department.

The Act also required the Department to establish an adoption information service (AIS), with access to both records created by the Department and the records of the former approved agencies. The adoption records now held by the Department were created by as many as 30 different adoption agencies that were in operation at different times. After the AIS was formed, circa 1985, it gathered the records of the various former agencies, numbered the files sequentially with an “A” prefix and created a full index.

Other AIS unnumbered adoption files and card indexes were also transferred at a later date. The records management unit allocated these records different numbering systems to distinguish between the card indexes from the files. The categories of files were grouped by the adoption agency they related to and the function of the file. Some of the file sequences also hold an "A" prefix as adoption files. However, the numbering system is separate to the first collection transferred from the AIS.

Content of files will vary but may include:

  • Application to Adopt form
  • Documents and correspondence supporting the application.
  • Consent to Adopt and correspondence.
  • Legal documents
  • Birth certificates
  • Photographs.

Files in this collection attributed to Gippsland Family Services are numbered in the range A1000 to A1049, and are dated c.1963-77

There may be additional files relating to Mission of St James and St John / Gippsland Family Services outside of this number range.

Voluntary children’s homes files (c.1930-c.1985)

File; Permanent VPRS Number 18069 / P0001

Content: The files record interaction between the various voluntary homes and the government. This filing system was created in 1975, combining earlier correspondence and other records to create one system with VH prefixes.

The specific file relating to Gippsland Family Services dates from 1983–85 and includes:

  • salary subsidy for an aide for home release of a child and other funding, 1983–85
  • declaration of several premises as approved children’s homes dated, 1983.

Reviewed 26 August 2016