Last updated:

1 January 2022

Every year on the 1st of January, hundreds of state archives are made public as part of Public Record Office Victoria’s annual Section 9 openings. Under Section 9 of the Public Records Act 1973 files of a personal or private nature are closed to prevent the violation of personal privacy. 

Among the files made public for the first time in 2022 are two 1946 criminal trial briefs related to Leo Clinton Cartledge. The Cartledges were an extended Fitzroy crime family led by Leo who was a notorious standover man. The first file is the case of an assault Leo and accomplice Molly Moran carried out against a Russell Street shopkeeper which went to trial three times. The other file details his attempt to escape the cells of the City Watchhouse in which Leo confessed: “I must have been drunk to do that!”

Also among the January openings is the 1946 capital case file of Trevor Francis Sanderson McKenzie who killed a man named Jack Johnson in Mornington after one too many arguments about what was being played on the radio. 

While many of the files being opened are from 1946, there are some earlier records including Children’s Court Registers, Fairfield and Kew Cottages Registers and Ward Registers from 1922, as well as some 1960s and 70s board reports, minutes and other records from the Railways through to the Dental Board. Also for the first time a Ballarat Court of Petty Sessions Maintenance Register spanning from 1904 to 1920 will be opened. The earliest record is an Admission and Discharge Register of Kew Cottage Patients from 1887 to 1922.  

Director and Keeper of Public Records, Justine Heazlewood, says that these are a great resource for researchers, historians, students, writers and genealogists.

“These files contain a wide range of valuable information for researchers, with contents ranging from 1887 through to 1971, they provide insight into Victorians of the past and the time periods in which they were created.”  

A broad guide to time periods for closure under Section 9 is:
•    Records primarily concerning adults may be closed for 75 years from the year they were created.
•    Records concerning children as the primary subject may be closed for 99 years.
•    Records such as staff records where the individuals concerned may still be in the workforce may be closed for a lesser period such as 30, 40, or 50 years as appropriate.

The full list of records, and more information about some of the stories mentioned above, can be found here.

For more information contact Tara Oldfield, Communications Officer, 0418 698 364,

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