25th August 2018 | Sam Buckingham-Jones | The Australian
A national group representing people who were in out-of-home care has called on the NSW government and police force to make public issues of the Police Gazette, an internal publication that once listed crimes committed, in a bid to fill gaps in state records.
The Care Leavers Australia Network says there are Australians who were in state care whose files have been lost or destroyed but who may be mentioned in the Police Gazette.
The publication was circulated weekly to all NSW police stations until 1974, when it changed to fortnightly, and carried information about crimes committed, criminals wanted and apprehended, missing persons, police appointments and other internal news.
However, it is suppressed for 70 years after publication, meaning any information that would help someone prove they were in out-of-home care is out of reach.
“Those Police Gazettes are decades and decades old,” Leonie Sheedy, a member of CLAN, said.
“People need them for their identity to confirm they were in care, and you can’t get government services unless you have a confirmation you were in care. We have had numerous — too many — care leavers whose records were destroyed by orphanages, churches and government bodies.