articles/lectures, events, Forgotten Australians, memories, photos

Exhibition a reminder of forgotten past

Sally Pryor, from The Canberra Times, reported on last week’s talk by Alfred Fletcher, author of Brutal: Surviving Westbrook Boys Home by Al Fletcher as told to Cheryl Jorgensen, at the National Museum of Australia.

[2020 note] You could previously access this article on The Canberra Times website.

articles/lectures, Child Migrants, events, Forgotten Australians, memories, Stolen Generations

R U OK?

Should every day be an R U OK? Day? R U OK? is a non-profit Australian organisation which aims to provide a national focus and leadership on suicide prevention.

R U OK? Day is Thursday 15 September 2011. You can read more at the R U OK? website

documents, events, Forgotten Australians, memories

Apology for forced adoptions?

by Wilma Robb (guest author) on 26 July, 2011

Catholic Health Australia chief executive officer Martin Laverty says that he is prepared to apologise to the victims of forced adoptions, according to a recent report.

You can read the 25 July 2011 article on The Daily Telegraph website.

Another report on the ABC News website discusses responses to Archbishop Barry Hickey’s comments regarding adoption.

art, Child Migrants, events, Forgotten Australians, memories, objects, Responding to the National Apology, Stolen Generations

No more silent tears #2

by Leigh Westin (guest author) on 14 July, 2011

Leigh Westin, who grew up in Scarba House and Parramatta Girls Home, is creating a memorial entitled No More Silent Tears for Forgotten Australians. The memorial is comprised of a large panel of handkerchiefs sewn together, each decorated by those who spent time in a Children’s Home or institution.

If you experienced institutional or out-of-home ‘care’ and would like to contribute to this memorial, then on a lady’s-sized handkerchief embroider and/or write in ink, your name, the name of the institutions(s) and the year(s) that you lived there. Please feel free to decorate it however you wish, so that it will be suitable for people of all ages to view. The important thing is that you only use a lady’s handkerchief so that Leigh can easily sew them together. You may, of course, make a handkerchief in order to remember a Forgotten Australian or former Child Migrant who has passed away.

You can then post it to:
Adele Chynoweth
National Museum of Australia
GPO Box 1901
Canberra ACT 2601

Adele will then pass the handkerchiefs onto Leigh. Please make sure that your contribution reaches Adele by close of business Friday 12 August, 2011.

Below are some of the handkerchiefs that have already been made.

articles/lectures, documents, events, Forgotten Australians, memories

‘Journey of Hope’

by Adele Chynoweth on 14 July, 2011

Listen to an interview with Dr Michael Davey, former ward of the state and author of ‘Journey of Hope’, on ABC Radio National.

Dr Davey recalled his experiences in foster care and at Royleston Boys Home in Sydney during an interview on the ‘Life Matters’ program on 14 July 2011.

Download the ‘Journey of Hope’ interview on the ABC website.

Journey of Hope is published by Arkhouse Books.

 

Journey of Hope
Child Migrants, events

Child passenger ship torpedoed by U-boat

by Oliver Cosgrove (guest author) on 7 July, 2011

The passenger ship the City of Benares, carrying 90 children evacuated to Canada from Liverpool, was torpedoed by U-boat, U-48 on 13 September 1940. Only 13 children survived.

The children were temporary evacuees and not Child Migrants. Nevetheless, the incident demonstrates the danger of sea voyages during World War Two. The Wartime Memories Project would like to hear from anyone who has any connections with the City of Benares.

Read more on the Wartime Memories Project – City of Benares website.

Child Migrants, documents, events, memories

Justice for Child Migrants

by Adele Chynoweth on 20 June, 2011

ABC-TV’s 7.30 program reports on the court action of former students of Fairbridge Farm School, Molong, against the Fairbridge Foundation, state and Federal governments, for turning a blind eye on years of abuse.

You can access the recording of the report on the  7.30 website.

You can read more of the experiences of living at Fairbridge in David Hill’s book The Forgotten Children: Fairbridge Farm School and its Betrayal of Britain’s Child Migrants to Australia.

 

Roadside sign - Fairbridge Farm School, Molong
Photo by Rachael Hession, National Museum of Australia

This is the sign of Fairbridge Farm School at its original site in Molong, NSW. This sign will be displayed at the National Museum’s exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homes, which opens in Canberra on 16 November 2011.

documents, events, Forgotten Australians

New deadline for forced adoption inquiry submissions

by Adele Chynoweth on 6 June, 2011

The Senate Community Affairs committee has announced an extension of the deadline for receipt of submissions to its inquiry into former forced adoption practices.

The commitee’s media relase of 12 May 2011 reads:

Inquiry into former forced adoption practices

The Senate today extended the Senate Community Affairs committee inquiry into the Commonwealth contribution to former forced adoption policies because of the extent and nature of the evidence received and complexity of the issues involved.

‘The committee has already received over 300 submissions, but we know there are others who still want to contribute to the inquiry’, said committee chair Senator Rachel Siewert.

‘This inquiry is very complex, involving many legal, historical and policy issues, and the committee  wants to get it right. The committee simply didn’t have enough time with the June deadline to collect and  horoughly review the evidence’.

The committee has received over 300 submissions. Many of these are very detailed, including a large number of accounts that suggest babies were taken for adoption against their mothers’ will.

The accounts include reports that women were pressured, deceived or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms, actions that may have been in breach of the policies and laws of the time. The accounts received by the committee date from the 1950s to as recently as 1987.

The committee wants to ensure that everyone who believes they have been affected by past adoption policies and who wants to make a submission to the inquiry will have time to do so.

If you have not previously submitted, but would like to, the committee continues to welcome evidence from new submitters. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the submissions and potential privacy issues there may be delays in processing and uploading those submissions to the website.

The committee also wants to obtain evidence from institutions and agencies involved in adoption, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.

The committee will also be seeking detailed evidence from Commonwealth agencies.

The committee is now due to report on 21 November 2011.

Contact details and inquiry terms of reference follow:

For comment: Senator Rachel Siewert, Chair
Ph 02 6277 3587

For inquiry information: Senate Community Affairs Committee secretariat
Ph 02 6277 3515

Terms of Reference of the inquiry

That the following matters be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 21 November 201 1:

(a) the role, if any, of the Commonwealth Government, its policies and practices in contributing to forced adoptions; and

b) the potential role of the Commonwealth in developing a national framework to assist states and territories to address the consequences for the mothers, their families and children who were subject to forced adoption policies.

Download the media release (PDF 70KB) from the Senate website

events, Forgotten Australians, memories, music, photos

Memorial song

by Adele Chynoweth on 3 June, 2011

Alan Bowles, who grew up in a Salvation Army Home, shares ‘Forgotten’, the song he wrote and performed at the unveiling of the Victorian memorial to Forgotten Australians, in Melbourne on 25 October 2010.

Attendees of the apology by the Salvation Army to former residents of children homes, Old Parliament House, Canberra.

[2020 note: audio file no longer available]

Hear more of Alan’s music on the Australian Johnny Cash & June Carter Show MySpace website