events, Forgotten Australians, memories, photos


by Gabbi Rose (guest author) on 10 November, 2011

Gabrielle Rose shares photographs from the reunion of former inmates of the Winlaton Youth Training Centre, held at Open Place, Melbourne, on 29 October, 2011.

Click on photos to enlarge:

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6 thoughts on “Reunited”

  1. Adele I still havn’t been able to get in touch with all the girls yet to get permission to put photo’s up with them in it. I hope I manage to get on to them all before the 16th so that way I could send in the Group photo.

  2. I wonder if children that are put in care past [F.As] and present are from poor famlies, poverity creates heaps of problems. Children from wealthy famlies I doubt would ever of been in care.

  3. Hi Christine I can only speak from my own experiences and observations from my time in the homes. A lot of the children I grew up with had father’s who served in the war and on thier return they found it hard to adjust after coming from a war zone. My father served in the second world war he used to have nightmares and would jump out of bed all hours of the night saying where’s my gun I can smell em (meaning the enemy) he couldn’t get all this stuff out of his mind there were times he had to be taken away in a straight jacket. He underwent all forms of treatment even electric shock treatment, and was used in the trials for insulin. My mother found it hard to cope with it all because there was no help for the wives and families, and many of the war veterans had no jobs because of thier condition. So my mother sort help and went to see the local catholic priest who suggested she put her children in a home and he even arranged it, he told her that she would get her kids back when she could get on her feet, but that never happened. She got a job and tried to save up money so she could take us home, but when she came to visit us the nuns put thier hand out for money, so she gave it to them because they made her feel guilty if she didn’t and virtually threatened her that if she didn’t she would not be allowed to see her children.They told her while she was earning a wage it was her duty to pay for her childrens keep. Then I found out years later that they had tracked my father down and were also getting money from him (though we ourselves were not in touch with him) what ever chance my mother had to get herself out of poverty so she could get us out of the hell hole they took away from her. You see alot of us came from those men who fought for this country and after the war society went back to normal, while these men were forgotten about and left on the scrap heap and the same happened to thier children. Life was not normal for us we were locked and hidden away out of sight of mind. And we lived the rest of our childhoods in fear as though we ourselves were living in a war zone and as all this was happening the churches were making huge profits from our forgotten war fathers and our hard labour. They virtually forced our parents in to even deeper povery.

  4. Hi, Gabrielle Short,

    Our father was a WW2 front line digger, and my 3 great uncles were part of the Rats of Tobruk. Many Forgotten Australians fathers were WW2 soldiers who found things tuff on themselves and their wives, especially if they had war wounds, malaria and shell shock. Sadly their children became wards of the state, not because they did anything wrong, mainly poverity.

  5. Thanks Christine and Gabbi,
    For reminding us that WWII is a crucial chapter in this dark history and of the promises unfulfilled and the lies told to mothers – false assurancess – about getting one’s children back from the Homes. What a profound and unforgiveable betrayal.

    Is this the way a nation should thank those men and women who sacrificed their well-being (or lives) by fighting for their country?

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