events, Forgotten Australians

Join the Forgotten Australians

by Wilma Robb (guest author) on 2 November, 2011

Join the Forgotten Australians’ rally in Canberra on the second anniversary of the  National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

When: Wednesday 16th of November 2011 at 8.30am

Where: Meet in Civic Square outside the ACT Legislative Assembly, off London Circuit, Civic

Who are Forgotten Australians? They are approximately 500,000 Indigenous, non-Indigenous and former Child Migrant adults who were incarcerated as children in church, charity and state run orphanages, reformatories, training schools, psychiatric hospitals, children’s homes and in foster care during the 20th century from the 1930s – 1990s.

  • Commemorate the apology: On the 16th of November 2009, the Australian Parliament formally acknowledged and apologised for the ongoing trauma the Forgotten Australians still suffer today as a result of the abuse – sometimes criminal – and neglect of duty of care they experienced as children.
  • Meet with Federal and ACT politicians to discuss the issues affecting Forgotten Australians and children in care today (past and present). These include better access to social and health services and better protection of children who are currently in state care today.
  • Speakers: Forgotten Australian John Murray and Senator Gary Humphries.
  •  Visit and celebrate the opening day of the Forgotten Australians exhibition ‘INSIDE: Life in Children’s Homes’ at the National Museum of Australia after the gathering at the Legislative Assembly, for Music to Remember by Forgotten Australians.

Please RSVP by Friday 11 November to or 6290 2166.

This event is supported by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters Inc. (WCHM), Woden Community Services Inc., and Women and Prisons (WAP). For more information please contact WCHM on  (02) 6290 2166.

A green circular badge. Centre text reads 'National Apology. Forgotten Australians. 16th November 2011. 2nd Anniversary 2011. Text in outer circle reads 'Justice, Quality of Life. Compensation. Dignity. Join in Canberra.'

9 thoughts on “Join the Forgotten Australians”

  1. Thanks Adele for shifting this into the right place for me. I hope as many Forgotten Australians and other people support this Rally. This will happen every year on our anniversary of the apology and I hope it follows in every other State, other wise the Forgotten Australians get lost again! Bring us out in public as often as we can. Nothing has changed, learnt or taken notice of with past wrongs with the system of providers that have control of our children coming through the system today……

    Canberra Times..

    Child protection cloud
    15 Sep, 2011 05:00 AM
    The ACT’s child protection system will be scrutinised in an independent review after five young children were placed into emergency accommodation that potentially breached the law.
    Community Services Minister Joy Burch has ordered an immediate review into the circumstances which led to the children being placed in the care of an unnamed organisation by the Community Service Directorate for three weeks in July and August.
    It is alleged the children were housed in the 1950s-era Ginninderra police station that was managed by another service provider but had no beds, no running hot water and inadequate access to electricity.
    Ms Burch said the ACT organisation had not been fully approved for residential placement, a possible breach of the Children and Young People Act.
    ”I’m not happy, I find it unacceptable there are questions still to be answered,” she said.
    ”I would find it totally unacceptable if there has been a breach of the Act, and I have acted promptly to determine how and why compliance appears to have been less than satisfactory.”
    The director-general has never approved the service provider as a ”suitable entity” for residential care.
    It is understood the unnamed organisation provides transport services and supervised visits for people in foster and residential care.
    However Ms Burch said the children were not put at risk and were now with another provider. ”There is nothing in front of me that indicates this is nothing more than an isolated incident but that review will give me that assurance.”
    Ms Burch has asked public advocate Anita Phillips to conduct the review, which will investigate the children’s circumstances, departmental processes and all placements of children in care of the Government. The property was managed by another service provider and had been used by families, carers and children.
    ”We have been advised that it was an older building but in reasonable condition – there is an occasional power issue and assistance and this may have resulted in an outage and lack of hot water. We have also been advised that assistance was sought to rectify the issue immediately,” Ms Burch said.
    Opposition spokeswoman for family and community services, Vicki Dunne, said the incident highlighted the administrative failures of the Community Services Directorate.
    She said the children were housed in a building that was previously used as Ginninderra Police Station.
    ”When they went into the building there were no beds, it was dirty, there was broken glass on the floor, there was no running hot water, there wasn’t electricity throughout all the building so they couldn’t plug in heaters and it was freezing.”

    Ms Dunne wrote to the Minister on September 9 to express her concerns about the Directorate’s dealings with the service provider.

    Hungry, cold and stressed
    15 Oct, 2011 01:00 AM
    The ACT Government’s Child Protection Services knew it was breaking the law in its care of vulnerable children in Canberra’s north this year, according to the territory’s public advocate.
    Children in the care of the territory went hungry, slept on the floors of a freezing house in the depths of a Canberra winter and were subjected to ”appalling” denials of their rights because of management failures by Child Protection Services.
    In one instance, four siblings, all under 10 years of age, endured ”19 days of trauma” because of a failure by protection services to develop an early intervention strategy.
    The Canberra Times revealed last month that five children had been inappropriately housed in the old Ginninderra police station that had no beds, no running hot water and inadequate access to electricity.
    But the investigation by ACT Public Advocate Anita Phillips found that eight children had been sent to the property and that 24 youngsters had been inappropriately placed in the care of the non-government agency, which had not been qualified or vetted for such work.
    Ms Phillips says she is worried that leadership failures in the service have led to ”serious detrimental impacts” on children.
    Now Ms Phillips wants to conduct a wider investigation into the extent of and duration of the problems at protection services.
    She was called in by the Legislative Assembly last month after a family welfare agency was suspended by the Community Services Directorate in August from providing daily child care.
    The directorate said that ”serious concerns” were raised about its management of children at risk of violence, trauma or neglect between June and August.
    But the Public Advocate’s report, issued yesterday, contains no criticism of the agency’s conduct in the matter.
    However, the advocate identified serious failures by protection services in its management of contracts, with bureaucrats making increasing demands of a non-government service provider that had not been vetted or qualified to undertake ”hands on” daily care of troubled children.
    Ms Phillips dismissed the defence from protection services that there had been no other agency in which to turn to house the children as ”disingenuous”.
    She also noted that bureaucrats seemed more concerned about money than the suitability of the agency’s staff doing the child welfare work.
    She also noted that the agency is owed more than $470,000 by the Government for services it has provided and Ms Phillips recommended that all outstanding money be paid to the agency in full.
    The findings forced Minister for Children and Young People Joy Burch onto the defensive yesterday and caused a political storm.
    ”Looking after vulnerable children in care and protection is not an easy job. That said, we need to look after our systems so that they are right and our communications are right so that this does not happen again,” Ms Burch said. ”There are certainly some concerning findings that say that there are things that we need to do better.”
    Opposition Leader Zed Seselja was demanding answers about how a government agency could breach the Children and Young People Act.
    ”The Government broke the law, they knew they were breaking the law, and in doing so, they put kids in harm’s way and that’s a pretty serious thing,” Mr Seselja said.
    ”They let these kids down and we need to get to the bottom of why this thing happened and then make sure that this never happens again.”
    Greens leader Meredith Hunter said the report showed the child protection system was ”broken”.
    ”The Public Advocate’s review is damning and raises many concerns about the adequacy of our emergency response system,” Ms Hunter said. ”It shows that the current system is letting down our children in crisis.”

  2. This is how it really is and should be said and what we need and why.
    By Rhonda trivett.
    In the world war 1 and 2, In the holocaust days around 65 years ago, the aboriginals days around 100 years ago etc., the stolen generation days around 50 years until mid-1960s and children in children homes there were government laws and lease the authorizes knew what they were doing and yes debates go on today but the children in the adults criminal mentally insane wards there wasn’t. The governments only know that we were there for punishment. The law states no one under 21years of age was supposed to be in Osler house. So the government and the health department and children services broke the law legally. So they are at fault totally. No wonder they wanted to cover their butts. The government can always argue other issues because of laws that were in place, but it stops with us children. The law states children were sent to children homes. So really how did these government departments do this and broke the law. Especially what happened firstly and then what happened to us in there? There’s more than meets the eyes with all of this. But the bottom line is we suffered in there and we are still suffering now because of a total ignorance and no one is helping. Why not. That sucks.I doesn’t it and can’t understand. My question is why were we in there and whose fault was it. I need answers. And why can’t they help us live a normal life in society. What is stopping them? It’s not only me asking these questions its other people who were never locked up with no mental backgrounds from great normal lives with good educations well respected people.
    I believe the opening of the Museum will be the last opportunity for us F.As to speak up. Even thou the Museum inside, Life in Children’s Homes has been a great thing and run by 2 lovely caring ladies, Adele and Jay, I feel that I have been dumped deliberately thanks to our government. I know some workers, who work for the government in different sections that hate what’s happened to us children, and don’t agree with what the government is doing now and back in the days when we were locked up but if they say how they really feel and how something should be done they will lose their jobs, sad hay. Now this exhibition that’s going around Australia for 3 years after that nothing. See the government know what they are doing, and this museum is to make the government look pretty? If the pubic heard about the British being place in intuitions would they make a fuss and the forgotten Australia’s would they make a fuss, maybe but the Australia children being dumped into wards for the criminally mentally insane which 21 years of age was the legal age to be there and us children were 11, 12, 13 14, and 15 years of age getting raped bashed murdered and having shock treatment and murderers that couldn’t handle in Bogga Road Jail being placed with them as well, and being kept in the asylums for drug and behavior experiments by the system who was supposed to be looking after us children. the reporters would have a field day and the public would be wild and want to know why. It’s beyond me. The government says we were there for punishment. Great punishment. Our children and family’s suffer as well. This museum was only told a limited amount of information, some of our poems and stories, because they were too bloody and torture or had R rated facts were not allowed on the site. Ok, children would see them that understandable.
    We were placed into mental asylums for non-psychiatric reasons. That’s wrong and doesn’t ever make any sense. Young children 1 Absconding from a systems of abuse because it wasn’t a family environment 2.Rebelling to authority 3.Bed wetter’s 4 Too short for age 5. Stealing a push bike. 6. Having Dyslexia 7. Not conforming. We were all drugged to shut us up.
    The fact is the F.As that was sent to Goodna for those reasons, people will see it as the government and the State Children’s Department really stuffed up pretty bad, and covered it up to save themselves. How we were treated was inhumane. There’s been no real justice.
    The government is supposed to be there for doing the right for the people. Sorry is just a word. If the government really means sorry I believe the government owe us some good compensation and free whatever we need to educate and learn trades and get us a good job and the things we were supposed to learn as a child, a teenager and a young adult. And all our hospitals files around Australia should be burnt. So we can start a fresh. That’s not asking mush after what happened to us. If this happened to you, this is what you would be doing and feeling. Some of us still live with shell shock, rejection, anger, being labeled and have a hell of a life coping and scared to get help. I’m sick of hearing, how that was then, get over it and its ok blaming the old system where it all started, But some of us who survived it, are still living here now. We live on this plant together and are human beings and we deserve it. Everybody has the right to feel loved. Please hear our cry. Do the right thing and help us. We have lost a lot of our life. We want to start living and believing in our Australian safe free clean healthy good caring system, which cares for its children and adults, which it should be.
    I have a 15 year old son and I can’t leave him as I have no one that can look after him. There are others who have cares and children who are in the museum as well. The Museum selected me and others to be present at the opening of the Museum on the 15 th of November and they will pay for my and their air fare and accommodation for two days..
    I have requested help for my son to come with me from the Forde Foundation and M.P. Jenny Macklin, etc. But there just running me round like they do to even the public. But so far lots have refuse to help me and they say because of limited funding. And that they had to say no to others who had careers or under age children with no one to look after them. What do they expect me to do with my son, neglect and abandon him for me to be at the Museum”, it looks like it. ? I am really pissed off that they won’t help me. I can’t abandon or neglect my son as that is abuse. I feel they are abusing and neglecting me by not helping me with my circumstance. And hasn’t there been enough abuse thanks to our government. It’s not fair. But nothing is fare what the government is doing. But it looks like they have made their minds up. Now is the time where we all need to stuck up for and by each other and fight for what we want and for what happen to us and let everyone know please it’s the only way. Let’s do it together. Let our voices be counted and hear. Now is the time. We all know who we all fell and how angry we are at what happen to us. So let’s get the bashed where it hurts. Cause they hid this for so long and they let us suffer for so long. Let’s see justice. It’s about time. My friends who were killed murdered by male nurses in front of me with acts of cannibalism don’t let it be for nothing helps them by having your say. And me getting raped bashed etc. nearly every night for all these years in the 1970s help me too, have your say. If we don’t the government will just walk over us like they have been. Make it stop. Every voice counts believe it does. Let’s do it and let’s go.
    i would really like to get up and say my bit at the rally. is that possible please. could someone ring me whose in charge please. i need to have my say. thanks.

  3. This will be an ongoing event Wilma we will be there again next year and the year after, if not us then our children and their children.
    Until the day is seen we have received Justice and we have integrity and dignity we will not stop rallying in Canberra.

  4. With the knowledge of the Australian Eugenics Movemnent and its aims, being revealed more fully and the use of Forgotten Australians by Doctors and Psychiatrists for “so called valuable scientific experiements?; It would seem that many Politicions and others were fully “aware” what was going on but remained very very quiet about it all.
    Australian Medical Assocation, Politicians made the decision to place F.As that didnt conform into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment. In many F.As files the reasons they were placed into adult mental asylums were for adolescent rebellion bad behaviour [ not conforming], absconding from orphanages, stealing, bed wetters, to short for your age and of course those that would of been disabled in some form.
    To place F.As into the asylums especially where the mentally crinimally insane were housed for experiements is because they needed guinea pigs and Forgotten Australians were the guinea pigs who agrees?. In those asylums they were torutred from electric shock treatments & drugged to keep them quiet according to the Sunday Mail 6/10/96.

    F.As were placed in straight jackets, tied to a bed for days with no food & little water, drugged, deaths and murders that Forgotten Australian Rhonda T. wittnessed in front of her. What if MPs Bob. B, Malcom T, Jenny M. were one of those F.As dumped into those asylums, tortured & wittnessed murders or placed in solitary confindment up to 100 days for trivial things like absconding & how would it effect them today, be hard heartless emotionally detached and not a care what was done and do nothing, I think not if it did happen to them.

    Is it possible that public servants being Policitions alive today or their relatitives played some part in the programs of F.As being placed into those adult mental asylums for punishment. Perhaps their relatitives are still running our government calling the shots hence blocking justice.
    It took ‘intelligence and strong will” in children who knew how to make ‘decisions’ and initative to abscond or stand up to people that hurt you. Having no fear superseded the abuse and I feel sad for F.As that was too fearful to do anything about what happened to them , especially to those who were floged, shoved in the pitch black dungeon, when vomiting your food nuns forced feed the remaining food to you and rapes that took place by the preists. Being in a systems of abuse most Forgotten Australians were effected psychologicaly.

    Good to read some politicians with spunk and rightousness will be at the Canberra rally on the 16/11/11.

  5. When will they get it,never unless they step out of their comfort zones.and come and seek help, from the people that have lived it, the Forgotten Australians,We have the lived experience that can give you the right tools, the right for all children that are in care today and the children that are unborn that is the FUTURE for all Australian children.

    Rosie Klohs

  6. we were neglected, whole families ripped apart, sexually abused and we had no one to turn to as we were little children. The governments and churches need to be forced to offer us redress and we need to demand why this is not happening.

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