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 admin@wchm.org.au 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.'
events, Forgotten Australians, memories, poetry

Three Generations of Suffering

by Diane Mancuso (guest author) on 28 October, 2011

Forgotten Australian Diane Mancuso, who recently re-connected with her UK-based sister, shares a poem about her family’s history, written by her nephew, Simon Houlders.

Diane introduces Simon’s poem:

Through out our childhood my Father managed to get most of the kids back in his care but not me. Unbeknown to me he sexually, physically abused all the kids. Where was the welfare then? And, as you would be aware from my poems he abused my daughter then killed himself I so wanted him to be around so that he could be charged & him doing that left me with no where to put the rage inside of me.

My nephew told me the other day that my sister when she was a kid dropped a vegemite jar but put it back in the fridge. My father then make a sandwich but it had glass in it. My brother Billy took the blame & was bashed senseless.

I can only imagine what my poor sister went through.  I do know that he took my elder sister’s viginity. What an evil man not a man a monster. Breaks my heart when I think of what they went through. Anyway, my main reason for the email is there has to be something we can do RE: our plight to bring it more into the public arena. It frustrates me so much when I hear how much money is being spent on people that have come here illegaly & we as children are still waiting in the wings for recognition. Saying sorry is not enough they need to really show action to provide us with real answers. As I wrote this I could hear the Prime Minister on TV saying we need to make our voices be heard I agree … for the ones who still suffer in silence to this day due to the State’s incompetence.

Anything that I write please feel free to put on your site. I would be interested in others opinion on this topic. Maybe even if the people that govern this country took a $5.00 cut in pay & put it towards our plight it would make a diferance but no way would they do this. They would see this as a travesty. They all say they care about the people of Australia.

Three Generations Of Suffering

Like the ripples of a lake
When a stone is cast
Affecting three generations
From present and past

Resonating within us
Passed from one to the other
Via nature or nurture
The pain inflicted by one sick man

Still impacting our lives
The molestations, the cover ups and the lies
If we allow it to be so
Fracture, break and destroy our lives

 My mothers brothers and sisters
Beaten and abused daily
Fear as a state of mind
No help, anywhere, to find

A care system, devoid of care
Lives devoid of hope
A family shattered, as a pane of glass
On to the next generation the devastation did pass

 Daughters abused, the cycle goes on
Abusive relationships, confused with what it is to love
A new generation conceived
To be born to a world where innocence is preyed upon
Vultures circling , as they do over carrion

As if something about you says ‘Victim’
Scum are attracted like flies to sh**
The cycle revolves and continues
And so a third generation are affected by it

Babies born to a world so harsh
My heart breaks for their pain
We hope to protect them from our pasts
But pass it on, just the same

 Knowledge, they say, is power
So we must never let him win
Reaching out from beyond the grave
To never give you peace

How happy am I, that you lost the chance
To bring his life to an end
Consequently we may not have met
Sister, Mother, Aunt, Friend

 We must never let him win
No forgiveness is required
To save a fourth generation
And give them the life that we desired

I am stronger than I believe
My mother, hard as stone
We carry on in hope of a better day
In hope of a happy home!

By Simon Houlders

(12/10/2011)

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.