Forgotten Australians, memories

For Violet

by Janice Konstantinidis (guest author) on 16 November, 2011

Janice Konstantinidis was an inmate in Mount Saint Canice, Sandy Bay, Tasmania, where she worked as an unpaid child labourer in the Good Shepherd Sisters’ commercial laundry. Janice now lives in California in USA. Here she shares her writing about her paternal grandmother. Continue reading “For Violet”

articles/lectures, memories, poetry

My Life Inside a Children’s Home

by Rupert Hewison (guest author) on 16 November, 2011

Former Child Migrant Rupert Hewison shares his personal history, from his time at St. Faith’s Home in Surry, UK to his being sent to Fairbridge House ‘Tresca’ in Tasmania. Continue reading “My Life Inside a Children’s Home”

Forgotten Australians, memories, photography, photos

Silence, Suffering, Strength

by Helen Harms (guest author) on 8 November, 2011

Helen Harms writes about her experiences and shares photographs from her childhood in Nazareth House, Wynumm, Queensland. Continue reading “Silence, Suffering, Strength”

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]

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.