drawing, film, Forgotten Australians, memories, poetry

Magdalene Diaries

by Rachael Romero (guest author) on 2 November, 2011

View the latest film by Rachael Romero depicting, through drawings and poetry, her experiences at The Pines in South Australia.

You can view more of Romero’s art work on her website.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHX_2aoeP0&w=893&h=502]

art, articles/lectures, documents, drawing, Forgotten Australians, memories

Museum accepts poignant memento of tough times

‘We were just whipped away; we didn’t know where we were going,’ says Carmel Durant, who grew up in Bidura Home, Glebe, NSW and with various foster parents. Read Glenn Ellard’s report in the South Coast Register about the chalk drawing Carmel made when she was ten years old.

Carmel’s drawing will be part of the exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions which opens on 16 November 2011 at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.

You can read the 10 August 2011 report on the  South Coast Register website.

art, drawing, Forgotten Australians, memories

Those who never left

by Rachael Romero (guest author) on 16 February, 2011

Rachael Romero remembers those women, admitted as children, to the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, ‘The Pines’, Plympton, who had stayed on in the institution well into their adulthood. Why didn’t they leave? What became of them?

Gaylis
copyright Rachael Romero, 1973

Drawing of an old woman with an apron, copyright Rachael Romero 1973

Gaylis was a ‘lifer’, a sweet-hearted person left there by her family. She was made to slave in the kitchen with no idea how to be the cook, but she did her best.

I still remember the chunks of lard and the bubbles of powdery flour that had not been stirred together sufficiently before baking a crust for that terrible gravy pie with junks of leathery kidneys swimming in it. I want to retch.

Having once seen ‘Little Jo’ on Bonanza, Gaylis was forever besotted with him – it was all she spoke of. Oh Gaylis what became of you when the place closed and the nuns fled? Slaving was all you knew.

There was also a woman with Downs Syndrome who folded hankies in that thunderous laundry. She waited on a Sunday with her handbag for someone to take her out. No one ever did.

art, documents, drawing, Forgotten Australians, memories

A tormented life

by Warren Porter (guest author) on 28 April, 2010

Warren and his younger brother Graham were placed in their first institution when they were 4 and 2 years old. They endured the next decade and a half in various institutions, training farms and – despite being under age – jail.

In telling their story, Warren includes evidence such as photographs and documents, as well as vivid descriptions and drawings such as the following:

It was around June 1959 when my mate Charlie and I were making plans to p*** off from the Brook but made the mistake of telling this new boy who wanted to come with us about what we were going to do.

Whipped by

To read more of Warren’s story, download the extract from his illustrated book (PDF 1.8mb). The book is now in the National Library of Australia.