documents, events, Forgotten Australians, memories

Life inside Westbrook Boys Home

by Adele Chynoweth on 27 October, 2011

Listen to author Al ‘Crow’ Fletcher talk  about his experiences at Westbrook Farm Home for Boys.

Al joined Adele Chynoweth at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra on 1 September 2011. He is the author of Brutal: Surviving Westbrook Boys Home by Al Fletcher as told to Cheryl Jorgensen.

Hear Al Fletcher’s perspective as a survivor or read the transcript on the National Museum website.

articles/lectures, Child Migrants, documents

Return to sender

by Hugh McGowan (guest author) on 30 September, 2011

Read the letter from the Superintendent of Quarrier’s Homes, Scotland to Former Child Migrant, Hugh McGowan’s mother, asking for her permission to send her son to Australia.

The envelope in the top of the image below is clearly marked “Retun to Sender”. Miss McGowan never read the letter and therefore her son was sent away without her knowledge.Twynam@nma.gov_.au_20110927_165606

 

documents, Forgotten Australians, memories

The Other Side

by Lily Fontaine (guest author) on 27 September, 2011

Forgotten Australian and author Lily Fontaine has published her autobiography The Other Side.

At the tender age of four, a young child is left with no mother, father, or siblings. Suddenly there is no one for her to turn to. There is no one to trust. Yet through all the fear and deep sorrow she must learn to survive.

Over seventeen years in the writing, this is the untold true story of Lily Fontaine (artist, author, and poet). Though it is a story unlike any other, if nothing else, The Other Side will keep you thinking long after the last page has been read.

But no matter what one may believe about near-death experiences or angelic visitation, this powerful account of tragedy and ultimate survival, will leave you wondering how any child could have survived as she did.

This compelling self-published autobiography of a Forgotten Australian, is dedicated to the memory of all those ‘forever young’ who can never come to tell their own stories; and for every survivor who would choose never to.

For enquiries about The Other Side please contact the author at: lilyfontaine@hotmail.com

 

The book jacket of "The Other Side" by Lily Fontaine
articles/lectures, documents, Forgotten Australians, photos

‘Their natural heritage’

by karolina on 23 September, 2011

‘Where the little inmates are permitted to grow up natural and normal human beings.’  Inside assistant curator Karolina Kilian came across this 1933 Australian Women’s Weekly article about the Church of England Homes for Children.

Detail of newspaper article with an image of children in front of a home

‘Where children receive their natural heritage’, The Australian Women’s Weekly, 2 September 1933, p. 25

We’ve transcribed the article so that it’s easier to read:

Gone are the days when institutions for children were like dull morgues, when discipline amounted to tyranny, and all suggestion of love or affection was killed at birth.

The children’s homes of today are pleasant, cheerful places, where the little inmates are permitted to grow up natural and normal human beings.

The Church of England Homes for Children are typical of the changed order.  Visit any of the institutions controlled by this committee and you will find conditions that many children under parental roofs might envy.

Hundreds of girls and boys who have passed through these homes are now occupying good positions throughout the Commonwealth.

It is a delight to attend one of the gatherings at the home and meet young men and women who are so proud of their early association with the homes as are men and women who boast of their association with noted schools of learning.

There is a group of these homes at Carlingford (for boys and for girls), a girls’ home at Leura, and the Havilah Home, Wahroonga, for young children.

The homes all have the advantage of being set in beautiful grounds, of having fresh milk and home-grown vegetables.

Built on the crest of a rise at Wahroonga, in a setting of spacious lawns, orange groves, and shrubbery, Havilah Home cares for 80 children between the ages of two and seven years.

Girls on reaching the age of seven are transferred to Carlingford, which takes girls from the age of seven to twelve, to remain there, of course, until the time when they are able to earn their own living or suitable care is guaranteed for them. This home has accommodation for 150 girls, and this is not sufficient.  Applications are refused every day, and there is a long waiting list.  An even larger demand is made on the boys’ homes.

The other girls’ home is at ‘Quipolli’, Leura, where there is accommodation for 28, from the age of seven to the time when they are fitted to face the world alone.

Domestic science, cookery, dressmaking, laundry, hospital training, and lace-making are among the crafts taught the girls. Lace-making is a special feature, and overseas visitors have compared it with advantage to that done by the women of France and Belgium. Quite a number of girls have their own gardens, for which prizes are awarded.

The Boys’ Home at Carlingford stands in 45 acres of grazing property. The boys receive tuition in carpentring, boot-repairing, house and farm work. In every way they are taught to develop a spirit of self-reliance, wholesome living, and usefulness. They attend the public school at Carlingford, belong to the Boy Scouts, and have a fine choir. On June 3 of this year a large workshop was presented by Mr F.E. Penfold.

History of the homes commences in 1863, at Woolloomooloo, when initial efforts were made to help destitute women and children by the late Canon T.B. Tress and the Rev. J.N. Manning, two Anglican gentleman whose names are commemorated in the Tress-Manning Home at Glebe Point, Mrs J.N. Manning, who is now 83 years of age, as a senior member of the executive committee, still attends the meetings.

From Woolloomooloo a move was made to Paddington, and further expansion necessitated a transfer to Darlinghurst, and in 1894 a group of girls’ homes at Glebe Point was established. The first homes were established at Carlingford in 1929.

No mention of the Church of England Homes for Children would be complete without reference to the late Matron McGarvey, whose love, understanding, and wisdom were of such great influence in the condust of the institution.

Miss McGarvey was matron of the homes for 35 years.  It was largely owing to her efforts that the Carlingord Home for Girls was established. As Glebe Point developed more and more into an industrial area, she longed for a country environment for the children.  She saw her ambition realised, and was at the Carlingford Home for a while before her retirement in February, 1930.

Miss McGarvey died in December of the same year.


Download the article here (PDF 241.9kb)

You can also access the article and The Australian Women’s Weekly through the National Library of Australia’s TROVE search service for digitised newspapers, magazines, photographs and more.

documents, Forgotten Australians, memories, objects

Letter to Mummy

by Dianne Gallagher (guest author) on 19 September, 2011

As a young girl growing up in the Church of England Girls Home, Carlingford, NSW, Dianne Gallagher knew that the staff didn’t forward her letters to her mother. So, Dianne used to give her letters to her school friend to post.

Below is a letter that Dianne wrote to her mother, in 1964.

Click on the images to enlarge.

articles/lectures, documents, Forgotten Australians

From NSW Parliament

Maureen Redding discussed the subject of Forgotten Australians with Michael Daley, MP, Member for Maroubra. As a result, last Thursday, in the NSW Legislative Assembly, Michael Daley argued in favour of Royal Commission and a national reparation fund for Forgotten Australians.

Download a transcript of Michael Daley’s speech (PDF 76.2kb) from NSW Parliament Hansard, 15 September 2011.

documents, Forgotten Australians

Missing pieces

The Queensland Department of Communities has published a booklet to provide former residents of institutional care with  information about the records of institutions that have been located to this date.

You can access Missing pieces: Information to assist former residents of children’s institutions to access records on the Department of Communities’ website.