Chief Secretary's Office

Chief (formerly Colonial) Secretary's Office 

Information available in Chief Secretary's Office records

Records of the Chief (formerly Colonial) Secretary's Office (GRG24) are an invaluable source for early colonial history.

From its inception, the office was the main executive and coordinating authority of government administration. It had a special function as the correct channel of communication with the governor by other government departments and by the public generally. The business of the office touched on nearly all aspects of the life of the province such as postal arrangements, Aborigines, petitions, legislation, and pastoral lands.

Correspondence series from the Chief Secretary's Office

An alphabetical names and subject index to correspondence of the Chief Secretary's Office is available at the Research Centre:

  • GRG24/1 - Letters and other communications received by the Colonial Secretary, Governor and other Government officials, 1836-1851. This early series of correspondence covers the first fifteen years in the history of South Australia.
  • GRG24/4 - Letters sent 1837-1976.
  • GRG24/6 - Letters received 1842-1982.
  • GRG24/90 - Miscellaneous records, including correspondence, letters received, memorandum, reports, memorials, proclamations, plans, inventories, depositions, and various other documents 1837-1963.

Indexes are available for each of these correspondence series. All four series are available on microfilm in the Research Centre.

State Records has published digitised copies of the Special Lists for GRG24/1 (1836 - 1851), GRG 24/4 (1837 - 1856) and GRG 24/6 (1837 to 1856). Please view them here.

For other correspondence series of the Chief Secretary's Office, see the series inventory in the description of GRG24 in ArchivesSearch.

Name changes and the Premier's Department

The Colonial Secretary's Office became the Chief Secretary's Office in November 1856.

The Premier's Department (GRG75), created in March 1965, eventually assumed the functions of the Chief Secretary's Office.

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