Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award: Find & Connect, eScholarship Research Centre

The eScholarship Research Centre of the University of Melbourne, Australia, is the 2018 recipient of the Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archives documents.

The Find & Connect web resource, funded by the Australian government and managed by the eScholarship Research Centre, is a unique web portal that provides resources on the history of child welfare and out-of-home care in Australia and access to related archival records. With a comprehensive search tool of highly sensitive and valuable archival records and supportive elements such as advocacy and access information, the influential site has received attention from around the world as a potential model. It was used extensively as a resource in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; has been cited in numerous academic and nonacademic publications; is used by public policymakers, lawyers, and legislators; and most importantly, has assisted many thousands of Care Leavers—those who grew up in care—in getting access to records about them to better understand their childhoods and reconnect with family.  

Kirsten Wright, program manager of Find & Connect, noted, “"For many Care Leavers, the search for records—that can help build their identity and assist in reconnecting with family—is complicated, and traumatic. Find & Connect is a supportive environment for them to access information about institutions and records of interest. We collaborated closely with many who grew up in institutions to develop the site, and it is because of them that it is the innovative, successful project it is now.”

Learn more about Find & Connect at and its receipt of the Hamer-Keegan Award at