Welcome to the GSV

The Victorian Certificates Exempting from Dictation Test dataset - GSV talk 20 July

Bill Barlow
16 July 2021
Printer-Friendly View

The significant underfunding of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) affecting their capacity to digitise their unique holdings, has received a large amount of press recently. While a recent funding boost is welcome news, it is important to highlight the value of the NAA’s collection and ensure its future.

One record set of vital importance is that of the Victorian Certificate Exempting from Dictation Test (CEDT). 

Last month the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV), with the support of the NAA, made these records available as a searchable dataset at https://www.cafhov.com/vic-cedt-index/

You can learn about these records next week in a free online presentation at GSV. 


The Victorian Certificates Exempting from Dictation Test dataset

Free online talk 20 July at 7-8 pm


Dr Sophie Couchman and Terry Young, a CAFHOV member whose ancestors appear in the Index, will present a free online talk about the database and the stories that have emerged from it, at 7 - 8 pm, Tuesday 20 July 2021.

Register here: https://www.gsv.org.au/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=1842


Between 1904 and 1959 customs officials recorded the names, ages, nationalities, occupations, residences and travel details of Chinese (and some Indian and Lebanese) Victorians who travelled overseas under a certificate that exempted them from sitting the notorious dictation test on their return – otherwise known as a CEDT. These registers contain a wealth of information for genealogists.

Sophie and Terry will describe the Victorian CEDT Index website as well as the registers, who applied for them, and what information can be found there. 


The CAFHOV project is a great example of the ways that a communityof family historians and genealogists can work with archives to increase the accessibility of significant record sets. The forthcoming talk will also be of interest to members who want to learn about ways to open up access to genealogical data.

The presenters

Dr Sophie Couchman is a curator and professional historian based in Melbourne with a particular interest in migration history and the role photographs play in how we tell history. Sophie recently assisted Jeff Fatt (aka the Purple Wiggle) on SBS’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’. She is a founding member of the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria (CAFHOV).  


Terry Young is an enthusiastic family historian who got the bug a few years ago. His grandfather and father were both market gardeners. Their story is typical of last century Chinese Australian migration and Terry enjoys researching and sharing that story with other historians. He is Vice President, CAFHOV.



Image: Register of Certificates Exempting from the Dictation Test, Melbourne. NAA: B6003, 3.

Expiry Date: 
Wednesday, 12 January, 2022 - 12:30
Mailing Id: