What’s your view?

These photos might trigger a memory, or provoke a reaction.

Let us know your response

We welcome your responses to these photos – use the comments form below or be in touch with us another way.

You are also invited to send us a copy of your photos. If you agree, your comments or photos might be used in the exhibition, which is in development now and will be opened in 2011.

24 thoughts on “Photos”

  1. I forgot I was a forgotten australian? I didn’t know there was anything going on, see I am an alcoholic, have just been diagnosed with emphysema (ex wittenoom resident, but thats another story), lumbar spondylosis, PTSD( 1998?), depression, migraines(2010) etc.etc. but the real part I wanted to share was my absolute fear? distrust? of gov agencies, I was on the verge of really losing it and felt like I was talking another language to all these agencies/police/homeswest, and was vaguely aware of some kind of apology to forgotten australians, when I stumbled into the local counselling office in lotterys house, and the receptionist smiled and offered me a glass of water and I just rabbited on to her about all the trouble I was having communicating with the powers that be, when she said have you read the booklet on dealing with forgotten australians? I said never heard of it, and she got on the web site and got a copy for me HALLELUJAH (had to look that up). I finally could feel better about the way I was reacting to authority figures, why I just couldnt settle down( as one copper kept saying to me) as I was beening accused of filming children in the street, when I had called the cops because the neighbours kids kept throwing things (statues, rocks) at my chained dogs. Ironically I told the cops I had PTSD and didnt think I could cope with much more from the neighbours, one cop said settle down the other gave me their names etc and an offence no. One was compassionate the other had already put me in a box marked loony. As I was on different types of drugs to control the outbursts of tears, pain, sleeping and pro actively trying to control myself, the booklet was like a ray of light after a dark and dangerous storm, hope. Only 4 letters but a powerful word prior to reading it I had none, I thought I was going to be a dribbling wreck forever and possibly get worse. (One of my biggest fears was graylands, the second jail) AND it was almost like a cure for the helplessness I felt in dealing with people. I still feel like I talk another language, but it doesn’t worry me as much because as they say better the devil you know. And I realized that I will always feel like this and its ok and probably warranted and maybe one day I might not let it all get to me at all.

  2. Thanks for your honest insight Kathy. The National Museum doesn’t think you’re a loony. Thank you for telling your story so that we can remind others of this chapter in Australian history – a chapter that bleeds into the present.

    I assume that you’re referring to this booklet at:

    Thanks again for your response.

  3. Kathy,

    Most Forgotten Australians feel like we are dribbling wrecks as you call it and are never understood by goverment workers or people in general. I am so pleased you met somone that knew about the purple booklet on Forgotten Australians. For some this booklet should be carried and handed to the person you are dealing with behind a counter in any service delivery,doctors,housing and police and asked to read it if they have not all ready before there is confrontation.It makes it easier for you and for them to see where your comming from. This booklet was put together by Forgotten Australians them selfs. If they dont read it to make things as easy as they can for you and themselfs ;then take it to somone that will read , listen and understand you. Never feel inferior to them ,they have no right to make you or any one else feel this way.

  4. Drop me a line Kathy…..and have a talk. I am an immigrant kid (1954) Graylands Migrant Hostel and in my experiences, I can relate to what you are going thru.

    Regards Chris

  5. Hi Wilma Robb,

    I agree with you that Forgotten Australians should give the 16 page purple book to people whom they are trying to explain what we the Forgotton Australians went through pre 80 era & how it was systems of abuse , psychological, phyicial, sexual, torture and slavery. People today have no idea the system back in those days.
    When I read that 16 page book, it was the breaking point for me. I believed it was my fault the guilt shame & not worthy as a person neither life and thought, who ever wrote that book got it right.

    My sister was in the same orphanage as I was ; we entered there when she was 4 & I was 3 yrs of age, I did not know I had a sister in the orphanage. 3 weeks before we were placed with the same foster parents, she was 9 & I was 8 yrs old, she was introduced to me as my sister, some how and for some reason they kept us seperate from each other and abviously did not want us to know we were sisters,3 weeks prior to being fostered out.

    At the foster parents, we worked jolly hard before and after school plus weekends. The worse job we had was to carry the piss pots down 4 steps and empty them into the thunder box which was a fair way from the house, the urine and shit flowing onto our hands many times from the piss pots. Scrubbing and polishing the floors on our hands and knees. and chopping and carting the wood was hard going for children at from 8 to 12 yrs of age. We scrubbed and polished the floors on our hands and knees at the orphanage too.Cheap labour indeed .

    Because of the volume of work we had to do with the foster parents, my sister got sick of being their slave so she stopped doing the work. The foster parents complained to the State Childrens Department because she refused to work and consequently amongst other things was sent back to Tufnell Home. My sister believed the foster parents specifally fostered children to be their slaves and I agree.

  6. christine i am horrified you spent your early childhood not even knowing your sister was your sister. there is no recompense for such cruelty.

  7. I could never understand as a child growing up, exactly what was wrong with my mother… She would cry alot, drink, and found it very difficult to give me the kind of love and attention I needed. It wasn’t until i was in my teen years that i started to discover some of the stuff she had to go thru in her childhood.

    She was a ward of the state in Victoria, and was placed in a home from birth right up untill they discovered she was pregnant in winlaten with me.. What i could never understand is how come they took my mum away from my nan. I could never imagine how that feels for a woman to have a piece of her taken away and put into an institution to be treated in such a horrible, and demeaning way. Afterall she never did anything wrong. She just did what god intended her to do.

    I used to blame my mother for practically ignoring me, and forgetting that i ever existed. I used to watch her drink untill she would pass out, while I would be left to cook and clean for myslef and brother. I developed such a hatred towards her because i did not know or understand the extent to wich she has been damaged.

    It wasnt until one day i saw the pictures of her in the convent, and in the the childrens home, that i realised my mother was robbed of her family. It wasnt until i seen the Apology on television that the truth started to come out, Not to mention that this happened on a broader scale, 500,000 children. That day I felt i finally knew and understood my mother, That day the truth had finnaly been set free. I have never been so angry, and upset and totally discusted in this cruel unjustice that these innocent children have had to deal with.

    To this day i still dont know everything that happened to my mother, but the stuff she can tell me is still very horrifying. I see the tormented child in her, Everday infact.. and i guess the one thing that the little girl inside her deserves is to be nurtured, even though this little girl is in a 50 year old womans body, she is still there, and her voice needs to be heard, and comforted and reasured that she is safe now.

  8. Thanks Melissa,
    We talk about approximately 500,000 Australians who experienced out-of-home “care” in the 20th century.

    Former Senator Andrew Murray reminded us that when we take into account the family members of the 500,000 then it is fair to conclude that over 4 million Australians have been emotionally affected by this history.

    Thanks Melissa for letting us know how you have been affected and how you have empathised with your mother’s past.

  9. Its very comforting to see that we are finally being accepted as telling the truth. The comments about giving the purple book to anyone that you are dealing with is so relevent and I think important for those who dont understand what we have been through. However, it seems to be difficult to give a copy to the local police as a guide to use when assessing who is a looney and who is not, and they simply wont take it and read it. I only recieved a copy of that booklet on Wednesday 9th March while at a function in Parrammatta for the opening of Wattle House, but it was so accurate and it is not fair that people in authority dismiss the contents without first reading it is a huge shame and shows the usual contempt that I grew up with. I have lived in WA for 30 years now but all my history of bad times relate to NSW. Thanks for your personal insight and I still think that really you had to be there to understand. Kind regards Mick

  10. I sit here in my humble abode.I am human i am not sure as i fight with my inner core and my tears are not in drought.My age i am not sure as i have two different dates.i think i am arond 50. I am someone not sure who.I spent my child hood in an aphanange.Only now do i address what i have been tryng to hide. I poor myself a glass of red eat another
    cracker.pat my beautiful little dog.Today i got through what will happen tomorrow?
    My children hood are still haunt me.I am lost do not now how to share not sure who i am?

  11. Mick Goodchild I know a chap called Cliff Goodchild was he a relative . He was a member of the Sydney Sympathy Orchestra and taught the brass band at St joseph boys home Kincumber,

  12. Adele I have made contact with a Mick Corbett who was looking for his 2 sisters . Mick had 2 brothers who have made contact also .I found Mick on this site last year .I have given him Relat, Aust. number and I also have followed up on his behalf They were at Kincumber also Lawrie

  13. Thanks Lawrie,
    That’s so generous of you and so kind of you to let us know!

    Many thanks for enriching this website, Lawrie.

  14. Hi; Adele,

    Why has the Federal and State government refused to compensate Forgotten Australians
    that were raped like Rhonda T., 13 year old children dumped by government into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment for adolesecent rebellion[ standing up to abusive nuns].
    In the asylum barabric and sadomasochistic action was performed on children from 13 yr of age, given multipal electric shock treatment, 6 girls taken for shock treatment only 3 returned and never saw the other 3 again[ they possibly could of died from shock treatment and possibly their bodies sent to Universitys to be diceted as the Duplisses Orphans in Quebec.
    Placed in straight jackets, drugged worse than zombies and one of the drugs given melted plastic.
    Dont you consider Adele, this action performed was TORTURE ? .Yet no one in authority has the GUTS and decency to stand up for the Forgotten Australians and demand compensation for them.
    Redress was for few, many knew nothing about Redress in Qld. Every Forgotten Australian should be compensated and those that were raped and tortured in asylums have not even been thought of.

    Scientist Alfred Kinsey a sadomasochistic pederast, paid pedophiles to molest children as young as 2 months old. Kinsey circumcised himself with out the benifit of anesthesa with a pocket knife, suffered orchitis ; a lethal infection in his testicles that followed years of sadistic, orgiastic self abuse.
    Kinseys institution spawns sex educators- Ph. Ds, Masters holders, those who study Psychiatry, Psychology Social Science etc.
    I understand now why the S.C. Department allowed such torture to the Forgotten Australians particually in the adult mental asylums when the Psychiatrists were programmed by crinimal sadomasochistic pederast Scientist Alfred kinseys pholophisy, teachings and life style.
    Our government accepted Kinseys teachings as right, and its proof they accepted the torture of Forgotten Australians as the right thing to do, by them not compensating them.
    SHAME ON THE STATE CHILDRENS DEPARTMENT, for allowing torture on children in their care.

  15. It’s a good question Christine,
    A former resident of several children’s institutions told me that she was sick of the term “abuse” because it was too soft. As far as she was concerned, she wasn’t “abused” – she was raped and tortured. It’s a point well made.

    I also appreciate Leonie Sheedy’s (from CLAN) comment regarding why governments don’t chase after perpetrators from Children’s Homes, the way they do James Hardie industries. Her quote is here:

  16. Hi; Adele,

    Thankyou for Leonie Sheedys comments.
    Why doesnt the CEOs of D.C.Services and Parliament and the Churches, tell the truth that the government used Forgotten Australians, with their knowledge and consent, for all sorts of eugenics programs,such as vaccines, behaviour, medical psychigocal and sexual abuse .The perpetrators are not only carers that sexually raped F.As, but others that abused them in many other ways. Dragged them by the hair, shoved food into them from vomiting what they couldnt comsume, canned, shoved in a pitch black dungeon, slave labour, psychological abuse, private parts fiddled with at 5/6 yrs of age. GOVERNMENT using F.As for ugenics programs , not only were they raped, but TORTURED throught electric shock treatments under durress, straight jackets etc. S.C.Department our Government gave the aproval for such TORTURE to take place on children in there care.

    Forgotten Australian children were placed into adult mental asylum for “so called “adolesecent rebellion where criminally insane people were housed. They were given electric shock treatment, often [this was given as a way of erasing their memories from all of the other abuses ] placed in straight jackets, drugged worse than zombies, one drug given melted plastic. GOVERNMENT is responsible for that torture of children , they also are the perpetrators.

    Adele, is it possible thousands of Forgotten Australians that went missing, were taken to Universitys , drugged up and abused by various psychological methods and later killed to be cut up and dissected and the results of various drug tests done on them examined. Its not nice mentioning all of this But it was all done exactly as such over in Canada with the Duplessis Orphans .
    Medical science was and still is always after body parts, just as they did with the Duplissis Orphans in Quebec?. The Catholic Church and the Psychiatrists “Reclassified Orphans ” “MentallyBackward” AND THUS RETURNED A MUCH HIGHER RATE OF MONEY FOR “lOOKING AFTER THESE CHILDREN “. They got away with over $70 MILLION DOLLARS over a 20 year period from the 40,s to the 60s.on this scam! One is surely led to ask the question , “Was this same thing going on over here in Australia and who was involved ?There is as usual a Deafening Silence when one mentions any of these issues I,ve noticed! With the knowledge of people in government destroying many files on these issues, one is again more curious as to why and who is protecting whom here.

    The sadly laughable attempt to “help “FAs by offering “Cooking and Computer lessons”, instead of rightly compensating them; is sick and sad. As the Bible states,…. “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” Prov12:10 This is surely so true here I believe, do you agree Adele?

    The real reason that 50% of FAs are on Centrelink is due mostly to 3 factors,…
    1. They are old.
    2. They are suffering still from the abuse they suffered at the hands of these Carers and Government policy ,as per Eugenics etc.
    3. Health and Psycholigical issues, brought on by the abuse they suffered.

  17. Hi could you please inform me of the best way to find information of children who lived at Bidura Girls Home in glebe around 1945-60. I would like to help reunite my mothers siblings who she has not seen for over 50 years so I would like to get access to names of children who lived there, i’m not sure if this can be done due to peoples privacy, you see I am not sure of the surname.

    please advise.


  18. Hi Belinda,
    Thank you for your message.

    On this website you can download a copy of “Connecting Kin”. It’s a how-to guide for accessing family records and is published by the NSW Govt Dept of Human and Community Services.

    The Dept’s website also provides information for care leavers at:

    You can also contact Community Srvices head off ice at: phone (02) 9716 2222

    Please accept my best wishes Belinda and thank you for your participation in this website.

  19. PS Belinda,
    If you’d like to access “Connecting Kin” on this website, just enter Connecting Kin in the search bar on the home page above “Recent comments” and press enter.

    Forgive me if I’m stating the obvious!

  20. Hi..can I just start by saying i am glad i finally found this site,last time i looked i couldnt get much info! I stayed in ALLAMBIE in Burwood mid 70’s with my 2 younger brothers. I was 4 at the time and can remember some of the mental and physical abuse that i endured there at the time. What i always wondered about and have only now discovered why is-why did i always get what felt like at the time and now i think it could have been,needles every day! Well now unfortunately i know why i have big needle scars on my arms….i usedto remember how much i hated getting them,so i would hide and they would come and find me and tie me down so they could inject me…the room i stayed in had heaps of beds in it all lined up on either side with a window at the end,i used to hop from bed to bed trying to get away from them,get to that window..but it never happened. I have wanted to know for years why i had to have so many needles….it looks like they were still using kids for guinea pigs in the 70’s too:( I suffer from cluastraphobia..being tied down and locked in closets has contributed to that i think. I cant say that i have any fond memories of the place,they tried to seperate me and my brothers,first by putting them in a different ward..but i used to sneak out alot at nights to the boys ward as my youngest brother was 18 months old and we were close. I remember the abuse that followed when i was discovered in the boys ward at night no matter how much i wanted to be with my brothers they would try and stop me..Their way of dealing with us kids back then was wanting to put us in an assuylm for mental issues because we were “uncontrolable”. So yeah thanks to the Government and all there support to children who needed nurturing and not abuse, you have left us all f**ked up!! If there is anyone else out there that spent time in allambie i would love to talk,theres more i need to know….thanx

  21. hello Trishi (30th August), l tried posting a comment to you but l’m not much good at working out where to send back on websites with lots of different comments pages and l think my first post to you went back to myself. Here goes again, i got the email saying you read my story. You’re not much younger than me by the sound of it and like me at the younger end of the age group of former Forgotten Australians. I have just read what you went through in your childhood and when you say, ”Their way of dealing with us kids back then” sounds so like how l would say it. l have read in the media that children were still used for guinea pigs for vaccines as late as the 1970’s and the Senate inquiry says this too from what l’ve read. I can’t think of anything else that l can remember about Allambie so l cannot say if l did or didn’t cop anything there that you went through. When l was about 19 l went to Allambie, l wanted to see what it looked like (l was told it was bulldozed sometime after that, that it was condemmed in the late 1980’s). When l was a child it seemed like such a far away place and none of my family lived in Melbourne. It’s a very lonely feeling and you’re right, the Government didn’t nuture children and they didn’t understand that. I hope things are working out better in this part of your life and that your brothers are ok, that you all get along ok (it wrecks a lot of families l reckon) and l hope you find the answers to the questions you have. What happened to you shows that abuse and neglect was still happening in the 1970’s and l’m glad you replied to my story. thanks

  22. Hi T,
    Thanx for the reply…it somehow gave me a little warm feeling knowing that someone cared and could spare the time for a little trip down memory lane! I too am hopeless with computers and where to send things to,so hopefully u get to read this!!
    I always thought about going back past allambie when i was older,but i was under the impression it had closed down in the early 80s as well..I dont know if i could have though just looking at a picture of the place seems to feel me with dread. I cant remember everything from there being young at the time,but what i do remember has left scars inside and out. Its strange how at the time you think its all your fault that your in a place like this and that its “normal” to be punished all the time. I thought at the time to -that all kids had to get needles all the time…it wasnt until i was at school and i could see that kids were treated differently and they didnt have needle scars either. But then i still thought that we were to naughty thats why we copped what we did,and other kids didnt. Anyway yes life has moved on and i get by,thinking that there are people worse off out there than me..and there are. Life in my adult years has had its ups and downs like everyones and i guess my experiance has made me the person i am today in alot of ways..some good some bad!! I cant show affection-though i am really sensitive..i guess i am a little messed up still!! go figure!!
    One good thing is that yes me and my brothers remained really close,cant say that they are doin good for themselves though..but thats another story!
    Thanks again for your reply, its nice to have some support.

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