School of Arts

Frank Golding

Position: Honorary Research Fellow
Study area: Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History
Location: Level 1, E Building, SMB
Email: or


Master of Arts (Hons) - University of London - 1980
Bachelor of Education - University of Melbourne - 1968
Bachelor of Arts - University of Melbourne - 1961
Diploma of Migrant Teaching - Armidale CAE - 1977
Trained Primary Teachers Certificate - Ballarat Teachers College - 1957


Frank is a social historian with a deep interest in institutionalised child and family welfare and its ideological rationale. His interest is underpinned by an irrational childhood as a ward of the state of Victoria. Frank has been a teacher and principal in state primary and secondary schools and in teacher education and universities. He was a principal policy officer in the Victorian Education Department in the area of social justice and student welfare, and head of the state’s child migrant education program. Frank has managed equity and equal opportunity units at Deakin and Victoria Universities. For the past 25 years, Frank has been a researcher, freelance writer, and activist in child welfare. He is a Life Member of the peak body Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN). He has been engaged in national projects at the National Museum of Australia, Find and Connect, and the National Library of Australia (his oral history is on-line through the National Library at: Frank has been engaged in formal inquiries instituted by the Senate of Australia, the Victorian Parliament, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He is often invited as a presenter at conferences, nationally and internationally. In 2018, Frank was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Areas of expertise

Frank has worked with academics across a number of disciplines—history, sociology, criminology, social work, archives and records management and literature—and he values the capacity of each of them to contribute to a better analysis of child welfare policy and practices. Frank has developed special expertise in:

History of child and family welfare

Frank is interested in contributing to the creation of counter histories of child and family encounters with the welfare system. These accounts challenge the prevailing narratives of the state as a benign but sometimes flawed provider of services to children in need of care and protection—or incarceration for their own and society’s good. Among other barriers to a balanced history, there are significant problems of historical records and accessing these. While a chain of inquiries and a new age of testimony are giving greater voice to Care Leavers, it is not sufficient for these previously silenced voices simply to be heard. Care Leavers must be heavily involved in analysing and interpreting their experiences—and that can best be done, he believes, by working collaboratively with trained historians and other academics.

Intergenerational institutionalisation

Frank asserts that insufficient research attention has been placed on a significant element of child welfare—the phenomenon of members of families being caught up in the welfare system from one generation to the next. Informal figuring suggests that this might be in the order of one in every six families that come to the attention of the welfare system. We need both quantitative and qualitative studies of this neglected phenomenon. He has recently completed an extended case study of five generations of one family.

Educational opportunities for Care Leavers

Frank has a commitment to exploring ways in which the education of children in out-of-home care—including at university level—can be improved. The need for improvement has been identified clearly enough—with the honourable exceptions of Federation and LaTrobe Universities, the current situation is appalling. What is lacking are policies, support and resources.


Frank has worked on heritage projects such as the recreation of avenues of honour and memorials to mark the experiences of institutionalised children. There have been somewhere between 800 and 1,000 orphanages or children’s Homes in Australia (including some 17 in and around Ballarat). The vast majority have been closed without any public marking of their existence or the heritage they represent.

Research interests

  • History of child and family welfare
  • Archives, records and record-keeping
  • Intergenerational institutionalisation
  • Educational provision and outcomes for Care Leavers
  • Heritage of children's institutions
  • The involvement of former residents of orphanages and children's Homes in Australia's wars.



2012: Frank Golding, The Re-Discovery of the Ballarat Orphanage’s Arthur Kenny Avenue: Commemorative Booklet, Ballarat Child & Family Services.

2005: Frank Golding, An Orphan’s Escape: Memories of a lost childhood, Lothian Books, Melbourne.

2005: Frank Golding, Body Corporate: a quick guide to the law in Victoria, Victoria Law Foundation

2003: Frank Golding, Farm Succession Planning & Environmental laws, online units for Rural Law Handbook Online, Victorian Law Foundation, Melbourne.

2003: Frank Golding, Private Lives: Your guide to privacy law in Victoria, Victoria Law Foundation, Melbourne.

2003: Frank Golding, Local Laws Series revised texts of three booklets for the Victoria Law Foundation, Melbourne (original text by Lynn Buchanan & Jennifer Lord).

2002: Frank Golding, Tony Smith & Jan Bowen, Rural Law Handbook, Victoria Law Foundation, Melbourne (now adapted as an on-line service).

2002: Frank Golding, Common Ground: Your guide to body corporate law and living, Victoria Law Foundation, Melbourne.

1994, 1996: Therese Fitzgerald & Frank Golding, You and the Law: Children’s rights and responsibilities, Melbourne, MacMillan, Republished as How Laws Protect You, MacMillan.

1994, 1996: Therese Fitzgerald & Frank Golding, Children and Laws around the World, Melbourne, MacMillan, Republished as Protecting Children Around the World, MacMillan.

1995: Frank Golding, Compendium of Good Practice: The role of schools in the vocational preparation of Australia’s senior secondary students, NBEET Schools Council, AGPS.

1992: Frank Golding. Cavell Zangalis, Jillian Wright and Celia Meehan, The Middle East in Focus: Combating prejudice in schools, Melbourne, Department of Education.

1991: Helen Praetz, Frank Golding & Andrew Sturman, The Social Justice Framework, Melbourne, State Board of Education and Office of Schools Administration.

1988: Frank Golding, compiler/editor, Polycom Sampler: Readings in the development of education in and for, a multicultural society, Ministry of Education, Melbourne.

1973: Frank Golding & Doug Poad, General Studies in the Open Classroom, a book in the Teacher Education Series, Sydney, Angus and Robertson.

Book Chapters

2018, Golding, Frank, & Jacqueline Z Wilson, “Lost and Found: Counter Narratives of Dislocated families”, in Nell Musgrove and Kristine Moruzi (Eds), Children’s Voices from the Past, Palgrave Macmillan Publishing (forthcoming).

2016: Wilson, Jacqueline Z., & Frank Golding, “Muddling Upwards: The Unexpected, Unpredictable and Strange on the Path from 'Care' to High Achievement in Victoria, Australia”, in Philip Mendes and Pamela Snow (eds.), Young People Transitioning from Care: International Research, Policy and Practice, London: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.

2015: Wilson, Jacqueline Z., & Frank Golding, “Caring about the Past or Past Caring: The Contested Narratives of Memory”, in Shurlee Swain & Joanna Skold (eds), In the Midst of Apology: Professionals and the Legacy of Abuse amongst Children in 'Care', South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing

2015: Frank Golding, “Going to the Shop”, in Dee Michell, David Jackson & Casey Tonkin (eds.) Against the Odds: Care Leavers at University, People’s Voice Publishing, Adelaide. 2012 (revised enlarged edition, 2015)

2011: Frank Golding, “Writing for Survival” and two other short pieces in Deidre Michell & Priscilla Taylor, (eds.), Recipes for Survival: Stories of Hope and Healing by Survivors of the State ‘Care’ System in Australia, People’s Voice Publishing, Adelaide.

2010: Frank Golding, “Telling Stories: Accessing Personal Records”, in Richard Hil & Liz Branigan (eds.) Surviving Care: Achieving justice and healing for the Forgotten Australians, Bond University Press, Brisbane.

Refereed Journal Articles

2018: Frank Golding (in press) Sexual Abuse as the Core Transgression of Childhood Innocence: Unintended Consequences for Care Leavers, Journal of Australian Studies, No. 3 (A special issue on the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, edited by Katie Wright, Shurlee Swain & Kathleen Philips).

2018: Jacqueline Z. Wilson, Philip Mendes & Frank Golding: Hope Street: From Voice to Agency for Care-Leavers in Higher Education, Life Writing, DOI: 10.1080/14484528.2018.1427420.

2017: Leonie Sheedy, Vlad Selakovic & Frank Golding, in conversation with David Denborough,‘So you are accessing your file? You are not alone’, International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work, No. 4, pp. 89-94.

2017: Wilson, Jacqueline Z., and Frank Golding, “The Tacit Semantics of Loud Fences: Tracing the Connections between Activism and New Histories”, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Routledge (Accepted and forthcoming)

2016: Frank Golding, “The Care Leaver’s perspective”, Archives and Manuscripts, 44:3, 160-164, DOI: 10.1080/01576895.2016.1266954 (published online January 2017 – also available on YouTube)

2016: Wilson, Jacqueline Z., and Frank Golding, "Latent scrutiny: Personal Archives as Perpetual Mementos of the Official Gaze", Archival Science, Vol. No. 1: pp 93-109 First published on line October 2015, DOI 10.1007/s10502-015-9255-3.

2013: Frank Golding, Cate O’Neill & Natasha Story, Improving Access to Victoria’s Historical Child Welfare Records, Provenance: the journal of the Public Records Office Victoria, Issue 12.

Refereed Conference Proceedings (recent only)

2018: Frank Golding & Jacqueline Wilson, PLEASE SIR, Will you be kind to tell me if I have got brothers or sisters…, Paper delivered at the European Social Science History Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 4 April.

2018: Official Apologies - Getting it right: The Australian experience, paper delivered at a Hui on the Royal Commission on Abuse in State Care: Getting the inquiry right, Victoria University of Wellington, sponsored by the New Zealand Law Foundation, Wellington 14-15 February.

2017: Frank Golding, Lost and found: counter-narratives of dis/located children, The Emotional Worlds of Children and Young People, Symposium at University of Adelaide, 14-15 December.

2017: Lost and Found: State Children in Australia, Hotham History Project, Melbourne, 25 July.

2017: Capturing the Record: Building a storehouse of hope, Victorian Management Network (Public Records Office Victoria), Melbourne, 19 May.

2017: Got my File, But That’s Not Me, National Summit on Records and Recordkeeping, Federation Square, Melbourne, 8 May.

2017: Sexual Abuse as the Core Transgression of Childhood Innocence: Unintended Consequences for Care Leavers, Academy of Social Sciences Australia, Melbourne, 20 April.

2016: “Lost and found: reconstructing a family at war”, Australasian Society for the History of Children and Youth symposium, at Deakin University, 12-13 December.

2016: “Was it all a waste of time? The failure of the proposal for financial redress by the Australian Royal Commission into the Handling of Child Sexual Abuse”, A paper by Ass Prof Jacqueline Wilson & Frank Golding at the International Network on Studies of Inquiries into Child Abuse, Politics of Apology and Historical Representations of Children in Out-of home Care, Norrkoping, Sweden, 10-11 November.

2016: “A Charter of Rights to Records”, Australian Society of Archivists, Sydney, 17 October, made available by the Society on YouTube.

2016: “The Past is not a Closed Chapter”, Routes to the Past Conference, University of Melbourne,18 July.

2016: “Putting the child and their families back into the history”, Inaugural Frank Golding Lecture, Ballarat Child & Family Services, 7 May.

2016: “Making men out of boys: World War 1 soldiers of the Great War”, Ballarat Rotary Club, 18 April.

2016: “Mismanaging expectations: the domination of sexual abuse in official inquiries”, European Social Science History Biennial Conference, Valencia, Spain, 31 March.

2015: “Latent scrutiny: Personal archives as perpetual mementos of the official gaze”, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Canberra (joint paper with A. Professor J. Z Wilson).

2015: Care Leavers as agents: Who do our files belong to? What rights do we have?, Rights in Records, 12th Community Informatics Research Network Conference, Monash Centre, Prato, Italy (joint invited presentation with Joanne Evans & Jacqueline Z. Wilson).

2015: “What is in the Files and Who Cares Anyway?” Australian Archivists Association, Archives on the Edge National conference, Hobart (joint paper with Jacqueline Z. Wilson).

2014: “Human Rights and Memory”, Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory Network, Conference, Lund University, Sweden (Invited to present research on contested notions of childhood institutionalisation).


  • CLAN (Life Member and currently Vice-President)
  • Australian Historical Association
  • The Order of Australia Association