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International Tracing and Refugee Services, Australian Red Cross (2004 - )

From
2004
Alternative Names
  • Central Bureau for Wounded, Missing and Prisoners of War (former name, c 1939 - 1960s)
  • Enquiry and Tracing Bureau (former name, 1960s - 2004)
  • Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (former name, 1915 - c. 1939)

Summary

The International Tracing and Refugee Services department of the Australian Red Cross endeavours to locate, reunite and support families separated by war, conflict and disaster. As such, the department services one of the most longstanding activities of the International Red Cross Movement, that of restoring family links between victims of armed conflict. In Australia, an important predecessor of the department, The Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau, was founded at the beginning of World War 1 by Australian Red Cross Commissioners Vera Deakin and Winifred Johnstone. The Bureau was established in 1915 to help trace wounded and missing men and provide information about them to their families.

Details

In many ways the predecessor of International Tracing and Refugee Services, the Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau was established in 1915. Founded by the Australian Red Cross Commissioners, Vera Deakin and Winifred Johnstone, the Bureau helped trace wounded and missing men, and informally started a hospital visiting service. After World War II the service connected people who had lost touch with relatives and friends, supporting State Divisions, whose workers met and accompanied new migrants, provided assistance, and produced phrase books. As an Enquiry, Tracing and Message service, the Australian Red Cross extended to link refugees with their families and register evacuees, under the Disaster Services Department from 1975. In the 1990s, the Asylum Seekers' Assistance Scheme continued this service and the Tracing and Refugees' Department expanded as a core Red Cross service. In Strategy 2005, the Australian Red Cross re-committed to the Tracing and Message Service and aimed to enhance the delivery of humanitarian services to asylum seekers, refugees and other people in crisis. In 2004, these activities were covered by the International Tracing and Refugee Services, the Immigration Detention Program and the Asylum Seekers' Assistance Scheme. This Scheme is funded by the Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, and administered by the Australian Red Cross.

Sources used to compile this entry: Adam-Smith, Patsy, Australian women at war, Nelson, Melbourne, 1984, 386 pp; Australian Red Cross Society, 50 years service to humanity, [Melbourne], [1964]; Minogue, Noreen, The More things change…The Australian Red Cross 1914-1989, Australian Red Cross Society, 1989; Robertson, Philadelphia N. (Philadelphia Nina), Red Cross yesterdays, Melbourne, 1950, 105 pp; Stubbings, Leon, Look what you started Henry! A history of the Australian Red Cross 1914-1991., Australian Red Cross Society, East Melbourne, Victoria, 1992, 316 pp; Series NO13: Publications - Annual Reports of the Australian Red Cross, National Office Series NO26: Publications - annual Reports of the Australian Red Cross Divisions and Blood Service Australian Red Cross, Strategy 2005, Australian Red Cross, Melbourne c. 2002 Australian Red Cross Victoria, Annual Reports 1914-15 to 1989-90.

Related entries

Superior

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Archival resources

Australian Red Cross Research and Information Service

  • Index for wounded, missing and prisoners of war, 1915 - , Series NO1; International Tracing and Refugee Services, Australian Red Cross (2004 - ); Australian Red Cross Research and Information Service. Details
  • Records of the Central Bureau for Wounded, Missing and Prisoners of War, and of the National Tracing Bureau, Series NO4; International Tracing and Refugee Services, Australian Red Cross (2004 - ); Australian Red Cross Research and Information Service. Details

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

  • Australian Red Cross Society, 1942 - 1945, 3DRL/1354; International Tracing and Refugee Services, Australian Red Cross (2004 - ); Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details
  • Australian Red Cross Society (ARCS) 1. Prisoners of War Department; 2. Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau, 1915 - 1919, 1DRL/0428; International Tracing and Refugee Services, Australian Red Cross (2004 - ); Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Annual Reports of the Australian Red Cross Divisions and Blood Service, 1914 - 2007, 2015.0029 (NO26); Australian Red Cross, National Office; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details
  • Annual Reports of the Australian Red Cross, National Office, 1914 - 2009, 2015.0027 (NO13); Australian Red Cross (1914 - ), Australian Red Cross, National Office; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details
  • Minutes and Meeting Papers, Australian Red Cross National Council, 1914 - 2002, 2015.0028 (NO14); Australian Red Cross (1914 - ), Australian Red Cross, National Office; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Penny Robinson

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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