Charter of Lifelong Rights in Childhood Recordkeeping in    Out-of-Home Care

Statement of Endorsement in Principle

The Council of Australasian Archives and Records Authorities (CAARA) endorses in principle the Charter of Lifelong Rights in Childhood Recordkeeping in Out-of-Home Care. 

The Charter can be accessed at Monash University.

All Commonwealth, State, Territory and Local public institutions and care providers are strongly encouraged to commit to the ideals and aspirations of the Charter, including:

  • Participatory rights for people in care, and care leavers to contribute to records of care. 
  • Rights to be remembered or forgotten in the records of care. 
  • Individual and collective rights to cultural, family and self-identity, and to have one’s cultural or community recordkeeping practices recognised in legal, bureaucratic and other processes that involve records creation. 
  • Disclosure rights relating to knowing and being informed of where your records are held, being informed about the type(s) of records held about you, being informed of when and why others are given access to your records; and knowing when and why records about you are destroyed. 
  • Access rights relating to lifelong access to your records in a timely way and at low-cost, having a say in intergenerational access, consenting to access and use of your records by others. 

CAARA acknowledges that the capability and capacity of organisations to meet the ideals and aspirations of the Charter will vary, and that organisations may take different approaches to achieving this goal. 

This endorsement of the Charter indicates CAARA’s support for the ambitions of the Charter and organisations engaging with the people that are, or have been, entrusted to their care by prioritising, promoting and resourcing actions that support the Charter. 

Tandanya-Adelaide Declaration

On 25 October 2019 the International Council on Archives (ICA), through its Expert Group on Indigenous Matters, made the Tandanya-Adelaide Declaration. The Declaration call on archives around the world to re-imagine the meaning of archives as an engaging model of social memory; to embrace Indigenous worldviews; to decolonise archival principles with Indigenous knowledge methods; and to open public archives to Indigenous interpretations. 

The Declaration aims to see public archives as ethical spaces for encounter, respect, negotiation and collaboration without dominance or judgement. CAARA, and its member institutions, support the themes and commitments enshrined in the Declaration. Member institutions commit to improving services to Indigenous peoples, ensuring practices are inclusive and creating spaces that support ethical and respectful dialogue. These will be achieved through engagement, learning and collaboration. 

Thom Report

CAARA welcomes the report on ‘Government Accountability in the Digital Age’, prepared by Dr Vivienne Thom AM.

Dr Thom was commissioned by CAARA in 2018 to undertake an independent review of the extent to which member institutions of CAARA are contributing to proper standards of government records management in the face of rapid technological change across all areas of government service delivery.  Dr Thom’s independent findings were informed by a survey of CAARA institutions and stakeholders from each state and national jurisdiction of Australia and New Zealand. 

It is acknowledged that the governments of New Zealand and the jurisdictions of Australia have their own regulatory and operational environments.  The observations and findings of Dr Thom will provide valuable input for each CAARA institution as it refines its internal operations, public services and advice to government.