Message board

This blog closed in November 2011 and is not being updated. This is a record of contributions from people who experienced institutional ‘care’ as a child, or wanted to comment inspired by the National Apology in November 2009.

189 thoughts on “Message board”

  1. Hello all. I would like to say thankyou.
    This site is very Important to all the people who have lived the system and survived if you can call it that.
    It is very impotant to keep this site honast and included all.

    Adelaide thatnks Adele and her team on the great work

  2. Hi,I would like Adele Chynoweth – Curator to contact me if possible,I met her at the apology and she did an interview with me.She told me she would be in contact with me in the new year about my story,but I have not heard anything from anyone.
    Lynn M

  3. I am new to this internet stuff. Since this apology business I have had ghosts come back to haunt me after many years of trying to forget. Accessing information has been the most traumatic thing I have done . No not really, trying to come to terms with all those terrible things which happened to me as a young girl. I think the redress system was unfair because what about all the people who live in areas where they may not have been able to access information. And what about those who cannot read & write properly? Or even those who knew nothing about the scheme? I think it should be reopened and not a short time frame put on it so that people have plenty of time to access files and information etc. To all those people affected and I know there are a lot out there keep your chin up and may you have good fortune in your life & somewhere along the way find peace of mind. I would like to be in touch with any survivors, most of all any from Holy Cross Retreat 1966-1968 (Monica)

  4. Hi Lynn,
    Lovely to hear from you. Thank you for the pictures of Winlaton which I will post. I have your contact details and so I will contact you off line. Thanks again for your wonderful contributions to the site which are greatly appreciated.


  5. the most important thing this site must do is to show the rest of australia what abuse ,sexual molesting and rape that went on, that destroyed all those children at those homes orphanages or houses of horror would be the name,
    now we sit back and watch the australian government renege on compensating those and churches hiding from compensating and coming forth with our files

    this site can only work if there is honesty and those that done the wrong now compensate us

  6. Hi my name is Nicole and i was a ward of the state for 16years

    How do you meet the needs of others when you’re needs have never been met?

    How do you emotionally form relationships with others? When you are forced to distance yourself to survive?

    How do you cope with intimacy and feelings you’ve never allowed yourself to feel?

    Nothing will ever erase my childhood or the pain and suffering it has caused me but I would like to one day look to have a trusting open honest relationships a feeling of self worth and a normal happy life, I would like to be able to freely show my emotions without fear of someone using them to deliberately hurt me this is one of the reasons why I get so angry I am scared to become vulnerable. I would like to experience what most people take for granted the ability to trust in others and myself. To care for others and allow others to care for me. To love others and allow others to love me back and to be open and honest in my feelings and allow others to be open and honest with theirs without fear of being rejected, which is one thing I have not yet been able to achieve. And maybe one day I will be able to revisit my childhood (memories) without it being as painful and difficult as it is right now and maybe remember something good about growing up because there must have been something good to remember.


  7. Thank-u Nicole, and Elizabeth Clark, the nightmares, the memories they will always haunt me but just hearing your pain helps me to prioritize the importance of shareing, l to have stood alone all my life, never fit in anywhere, didnt know how! they took that.! lm 50yrs old now and realise l dont want to die alone, lm just learning the honesty of emotion and love, how to give and recieve, l have found so much joy in my beautiful family. The sad thing is i dont even know me, they took that away forever, l”ll keep searching forever, But l wont let it dictate the rest of my life. *50 is fantastic No backward steps!.take care.

  8. five of my female relatives were in king edward home darby street newcastle australia in the 1920s and 1930s one of the femails being my grandmother as I have been led to belive her child was removed and adopted who is my mother I was told that I was born in a ROSLYN PRIVATE HOSPITSL IN ARNCLIF NSW AUSTRALIA but can only find ROSLYN BABIES HOME ROCKDALE are thay one and the same?


  10. Hi Adel

    Awesome site.

    Finally we maybe able to get it all out.
    And then move on.

    A big Thank You for your time and your support.

    From Diane Tronc

  11. i think alot of things should be done for us the ones that need help now. not in years to come. not just let it all stop at the museum. things need to be made right as much as they can be. i want revenge but also justic to see that my friends didnt die in vein.
    lets remember them. lets all get together and group up down in one and take control of the fight its about time. come on lets do it down in front of parlialent house in camberra.
    if you want to let me knew we need the numbers thats how they listern. we have rights.
    once they were taking away from us. not again.

  12. or if you are going to join this come to camberra and lets gets justice. go to my face book im the rhonda trivett. the puppy dog picture on facebook. join my group while your there aswell . thanks have a great week.

  13. Why not a wall for all? Names of people all including past and current people.

  14. Hey i was placed in care when i was 6 for 12years, the suffering that i suffered will always haunt me for the rest of my life. from being in the homes and foster care has made me feel worthless from the physical, sexual and emotional abuse i and others suffered.

  15. For many years I had been unable to make anyone believe the Child Migration exisited. and how cruel “certain” members of the home staff actually were. I ran away on numerous occasions, after many problems. I was then sent to Walcott Street which was a “Hell Hole,” There the treatment was worse than you can imagine. I ran from that too. Being young and stupid because I had no idea what the real world outside was, I got into many bad situations to survive. Eventually, I was put in another Remand Home which was well run. and then went to live with one of the staff of that home. One day I was called up to Perth and asked if I would like to return to the UK . And that if things didnt turn out well I could return, but would owe the sum of £166..for said Passage. They did not check what the situation of my family here in Britain was.. or if they did it was not a situation that was suitable But they didnt care.. Even the Vice Principal of Fairbridge Pinjarra questioned it.. Not once did the Proper Authority’s in Australia do a thing to put a stop to my repatriation.There are many things said in my files which are untrue, I was not an angel by any means but I has many strong and reasonable reason’s for running off as a child aged 12. I was left to fend for myself .. I have seen files which state that I was visited on numerous occasions which is the biggest lie of all.. I have seen for myself, files on myself which are so bad that I shook for weeks after reading because, “It seems that I was right in my way of thinking as a child” That I was abhored by those who wrote these files , Personally I felt Rejected , Hated, and Reviled by those who were supposed to support us children.. Why because I was supposed to have been raped as a young 10 year old.. I know this to be untrue but from the time this was supposed to have happened I was abused verbally on so many occasions by many, also physically.. I do know however that when I ran away aged 12 I was truly raped for the first time. I have never been able to contact the boy who was accused of the crime of raping me aged 10 but would like to make sure it is on record that “He is Innocent”.. I have been doing a life sentence, I have no real family here, I left the family I returned to in Britain after about 18 months. I was a complete stranger, There was no love of family either from them or with me that had been wiped out as a small child. I have never been able to fully trust authority, police or social workers I am not ashamed, I survived in the only way I could, After being raped you have nothing to lose. I have one huge problem and that is , I can’t say all I should say about many instances that happend to me because then I would be as bad as those who made life very hard for me, Also innocent others would be hurt. I am always going to be angry, that will never go away. I Trust very few. I know. to my dieing day I will be haunted day and night with bad thoughts of those who stood back and watched and did nothing.. “I will never forgive”. I have tried to play out the scenes by talking or writing, None of it helps , Maybe someone will feel better by reading this and knowing there is another out there who is going through a rough time too.

  16. I am 62 yrs old, I have told just a “Fraction” of the story of my life.. So why do I feel guilty when I read the comment above this. Thats because all my life as a child I was called a liar,,, Throughout in my files, I was also written to be a liar,,, I have seen it in black and white. Even small comments made by me where classed as lies, because my reputation was in tatters before I was old enough to comprehend. I have no reason to lie, I have told my children of my past, The Good.. Which there is little of. ..The Bad, Which there is a great ammount of.. and the Down Right Ugly,, Of which was abundant.. I have told them , Knowing there was a possibility they would at sometime come across it and not know how to deal with it. I hid nothing, only the names of some who were involved in the treatment I was handed out and then only to safegauard the innocent.. Not the perpetrators. There are somethings however because of this that I have to be silent on. but are in my statement to Redress.. Some I have left out also because they are beyond imagination, and have only meaning to me.. I am not a complete unfeeling person, Ive been hurt on many occasions so have a need not to hurt others just to satisfy my own need’s.. Or to get others to hear my plea or believe whatever I say or write. I am accountable to myself, I owe it to me to say just how bad life really was and how it will never heal.. Ive thought of suicide often but always come to the conclusion that ” It would be in their interest “Govt” Aus and British if I should do so.. Well I hate to dissappoint but I will carry on living and stand tall when justice is served . Or proven. They “govt” did not give us a chance when they could have, To prove all that happened, Instead they waited till most of these people have died. It was one big cover up.

  17. I would like to know if anyone else went through the same Remand Centre .. It was situated at 3 Wallcott Street, Mount Lawley, Western Australia.. At the rear of this building was a shed like structure about 7 ft by 8 ft, . It was used as a lockup.. or punishment cell. We called it the” BOX”.. You were thrown in here for any misdemeanor.. and often for no reason. You were dragged out with both arm pushed up behind your back so your head was on your knee’s.. A plastic potty was placed in your hand, Woe betide if you let it go because then you were dragged by the hair and smacked around a bit to teach you a lesson This was done by two fairly large women. once at the door of this lockup it was opened and you were shoved none too gently inside. The door was slammed shut and bolted..The inside had a solid iron bed bolted to the floor, No Mattress, No Covers, The only other thing in there with you was the plastic potty. There was one window with iron bars, About two- three ft in front of that was a board preventing any view and darkening the inside. Here you were left for many days my longest time was more than two weeks after that I stopped counting so have no real idea of how long I was there for.. You were taken out once in a while to empty the potty, which they made sure was full because it was a hinder to you running and escaping. then back again in the same way arms up the back head down Many times that potty overflowed before it was allowed to be emptied. Food was pushed under the door 2 times a day, The fly’s hung around that door like there was no tomorrow, Water was something you didnt get just by asking, It was used as a tool to make you comply.. But comply to what.. I know I was not the only one who was abused in that way.. I remember the names of two other girls who had the same treatment, Both were Aboriginal.. I wonder how many others went through that kind of degradation, On your own with nothing to do for one day is bad enough but for weeks it is monstrous. If you did this today to the worst prisoner you’d be up at the Court of Human Rights.. Well where were our rights .. I point out that I was never violent, My crime was running away from the the authorities, and embarrassing them. I had many weeks of this kind of treatment at that Remand Centre, I was determined that at every opportunity I would run.. It twisted my thoughts day and night, One time I ran away and was taken to court for the “FIRST TIME” NO Lawyer and no-one to talk for me For stealing to survive, I was sent to Fremantle Jail for six weeks. For the first time in my.. life to be treated as an equal to others in the same position. I did 4 weeks I was just turned just 16yrs..I worked as all the other prisoners did. There was no let up On release I was returned to the same Remand Centre and back into the BOX.. Tell me where there is justice in that..

  18. For many years I believed I was about the only one who went through this kind of experience.. Thanks to an old friend from those days I was released from the that one thought and was able to start to talk about my times in homes..I am still on the other side of the world unable to go for a chat but time has enabled me to talk to others through the internet. Without which I am sure I would be sitting here still thinking I’m alone. I know now I am not alone because there so many out there with their troubles, I am at least able to write down and express how I feel. I have learnt to trust because after many years on my own I found another who gave me confidence and security in the knowledge that whatever I feel the need to talk about can be said without it causing havoc and kept private between us. I am very lucky.. I have been able to openly say how I feel and what happened, Yes I do have the odd moment when I ask myself if I am doing the right thing.. I think its right because without speaking up I am not giving others the chance to at least know some of the details and how a certain kind of punishment on a child can have devastating effects later on in life.. I hope my story will give others a chance to see that changes can be made. Also because I think if we dont tell someone then we leave behind the chance that it will go on happening.. Things have to change and we are the only ones who can start the ball rolling.. Its been over 40 yrs since my bad experience, How many do you think have gone through a similar thing since then. Thousands, ?? Millions,?? It can be prevented from happening again so long as we give the information on ourselves to be made public.. For once in my life I am going to be counted. I know some will not like the idea that they use their own name on the site. I had reservations at first, But now its done I feel I have done something worthwhile, and free from shackles .. Thank You.

  19. I was in care in Roslyn Hall, Rockdale. So was my older sister who was there for longer than me. One of the big things I remember was being kept apart from my sister who was in a different age group from me. I only wanted to be with my sister: someone whom I belonged with. I never saw her much.I never had the comfort of being close to her even though we were so young and hadn’t even started school A couple of times I saw her and ran to her when I wasn’t meant to-she said I’d get into trouble and I got really scared . Once I ran up to where she was sitting at meal time and sat next to her and when asked what I was doing I said “I want my sister” . I have memories of her sadness and hurt being in that home and I think she had a hard time,harder than me.I have memories of my sadness from being kept apart from her.

  20. I agree with the person who says the Redress Scheme is not doing a thorough job,,
    There must be many who dont have any idea that it even exists.. That is a disgrace, To all Mp’s English, Australia, Canadian, All those who were involved in this sceme, You should be ashamed that you are not doing your job in finding all those who were Child Migrants.. You’ve wasted years trying to hide the situation, Now you are wasting time we have little of.. This wont go away.. were not selfish in asking for what is our due.. You ruined many lives, It still has a bearing on todays life.. I was very recently handed some files concerning myself, There are so many barefaced lies, innuendo’s, and character damaging insinuations that I am finding it hard to imagine the files are about myself.. Dont tell me that I was so wrong as a child and an adult to believe you were doing your best for me. Just the opposite. And all along I knew it because of the way I was treated.. I am one person out of many who will never forgive or forget. How can I when it has far reaching effects.. Not once in my file,SS . Had anyone mentioned the form of punishments they handed out, Which were many.. You’ve even dragged my children through the muck and mire of your so called system of files. By saying that .. We believe that Margaret has no idea who the father;s of her children are.. yes I have 5 children to 3 different fathers, My first a mistake, Father Known.. My second two to a long standing relationship.. my last 2 to a marriage.. THEN I CHALLENGE YOU.. We now have ways of proving you are, or were wrong to write this statement. Genes dont make mistakes.. I wonder if you would give me the opportunity to prove you were wrong, Not only in this judgement but in many of the other judgments you made upon me and my character throughout my whole life.. Yes I am angry, always will be.. Soon it will be too late for many of us to prove all the mistakes in our files, Give us the chance and prove to us that you really mean. SORRY.. Sorry is a word used so freely, Prove to us your apology goes further than the word..

  21. roslyn hall childrens home rescue work society in the late 1950s was it in arncliff nsw or in rockdale nsw ??????????? Did a Roslyn private Hospital exist and were any of them conected a need to know please leave info if you can thankyou noni 2010



  24. Hi Adele,I would like to thank-you for all the work you have done for us, it has been theraputic knowing that we are not alone, but, l have to admit I’m in a worse place now emotionally than when l started out in my quest for answers, I’m not sure what we were suppose to get out of the apoligy,{ closure?} l didn’t realize the extent of confussion and hurt that again the government has put us through, Why??? All our files have been sensored so badly that they are worthless, missing years and half pages of clothing requests just doesn’t cut the mustard,,, I’m shocked at the inner Knowledge the gov had, that they assumed I would end up one of Australia Psyco’s,,, because l couldn’t show agression or emotions, I dont have a bad or nasty bone in my body, I just never thought violence was an answer,, even at that age. How is this suppose to help when all they’ve given us is half truth’s, all the’re doing is covering there own arses. Regards Darlene Mckay

  25. Dear Redress,
    Firstly, and I’m sure I speak for many others here; I want to congratulate you on a job well done! You have done a fantastic job of taking my sad memories and then turning them into further excruciating pain and added the further ingredients of anger and bitterness. You have taken away my dignity and replaced it something much colder and darker. You did it all with such clinical precision that my head is still reeling.

    From the lofty heights of your Ivory tower you have judged me and made me feel even more a lesser person. I am not validated; in fact it is quite the reverse. You have taken what happened to me as a defenceless child and trivialized it. Any hope of recovery for me has been exacerbated by this dreadful process. You use my emotional fragility as a sword against me from which I have no defence and wear no armour.

    I must also commend you on taking extraordinary care of the public purse. You can now report back to the politicians who left this money in your safe keeping that there will be enough left over at the end of it all to give yourselves fat bonuses and a huge party with plenty of free flowing grog – all done at the expense of the pain and suffering you have caused. I’m sure there will be plenty of slaps on the back for a job well done. While you’re slapping away think of all those shattered lives. You did such a fantastic job, because those you have insulted have already been so diminished by their life events, that they don’t have the strength to fight back, so in that way you have assured your vice-like grip on those purse strings, so no scummy, little urchin is going to get their grubby little hands on its contents. After all we had a pretty crook start to life, so why on earth would you want to give us any decent sums of money? Heaven forbid we might climb out of ! the gutter and experience some real joy in our lives and that would never do. Some of us even had the audacity to dare to dream of a better future. The rule is when someone is down you are supposed to kick them and you have done an admirable job on that score too.

    With hands as steady as those of a skilled surgeon you used your red pen on my file to cut my life and soul to ribbons, and I’m sure the lives of many others have gone the same way. So be proud, job well done.

    M, in particular I must say, when you have completed your tasks with Redress you should join NIDA as you act so well at being compassionate. I see a clear path for you right to The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood where you will pick up an Oscar for a fine performance. You had me convinced you are kind and compassionate, but now I and others know the real truth. Your training for the job has taught you how to take the heart from you breast and replace it with a stone. That’s a pretty hard skill to perfect but you did an exemplary job of it.

    The child within still cries and sobs, while the adult screams with pain and anger at your hands. So Team, don’t think of this as a flea in your ear, but more as an elephant, and I hope it trumpets long and loud.

  26. The message below refers to Redress. This was outlined in Recommendation 6 of “Forgotten Australians: A report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children”, Senate Community Affairs Committee, 2004:

    Recommendation 6

    8.125 That the Commonwealth Government establish and manage a national reparations fund for victims of institutional abuse in institutions and out-of-home care settings and that:

    the scheme be funded by contributions from the Commonwealth and State Governments and the Churches and agencies proportionately;

    the Commonwealth have regard to the schemes already in operation in Canada, Ireland and Tasmania in the design and implementation of the above scheme;

    a board be established to administer the scheme, consider claims and award monetary compensation;

    the board, in determining claims, be satisfied that there was a ‘reasonable likelihood’ that the abuse occurred;

    the board should have regard to whether legal redress has been pursued;

    the processes established in assessing claims be non-adversarial and informal; and

    compensation be provided for individuals who have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse while residing in these institutions or out-of-home care settings.

    Redress schemes were initiated in Queensland (2007), Tasmania (2003) and Western Australia (2007).

  27. Hi Darlene,
    Thank you for your continuing support of our website. I am genuinely sorry about your hurt and lack of resolution that you feel.

    Is the group, the Now Remembered Australians able to provide support?

    Click here for their website

  28. I am first concerned about how the pictures that are shown that the homes we all the pretty and lots of games, that was not my story, I would like to add a story to this site, first my name is Samilya, nee Bjelic, and my number in St Joseph’s Home Neerkol was number ten, from 1955 to 1965 it was hell, no love no warmth, no body to tell you were loved and special. no education and bullied because you were a crippled, and to lay in bed with your arms across your chest and made to lay on your back all night, if you didn’t do that you were strapped to the bed. This is one part of my story, my story still continue’s as to this day I still do it and can’t get out of the habit, my condition that I suppose everyone has left today with is Post Traumatic Distress Disorder, and personality disorder, don’t ask me how I got to this point as I am not sure of it myself, maybe this is a positive site I don’t know, but my head is very black and no white it that is what you call a sickness. !
    I don’t know how to put all of my story or how to address everthing as my doctors have all my information, one thing I can say is I still feel like a nomad and don’t fit into this life, everything seems so new and old. I am not sure if I was given a good start.

  29. Thank-you Dwarf, You so eliquently said what so many of us DO feel, I am now a shadow of my former self, Still numb. After many conversations with other F.A’s on the Nth coast lm convinced its done more harm than good, once again our Gov has put Themselves, The Churches and Careers first… Shame on YOU!!!!!…… D. Mckay

  30. Hi Adele,
    I heard from some months back and you gave a name and number for Link Up and you know what it was just like a Empty Line as I left several message and no one got back to me. I also feel the story I gave you in Canberra and the ongoing Fight For Justice in the State care today and you are aware of my story Generation after Generation in State Care as of today even being the 15th of September my 2 daughters are in so called care. I won the District Court and yet still after 18 months still am fighting to get my youngest back, My eldest daughter that Severely Self Harms has had 65 Incidents in 3 years in care under the so called Doc’s NSW. Now she is 17 they are already getting her ready to leave care and yet she only 2 weeks ago was in a pyhc unit for wanting to kill herself by wanting to jump of a building. They have her all drugged up and it is such History Repeating Itself.

    I am very disappointed with that I gave you a interview in Canberra and yet maybe because my story is the Past, Present and the Future is why it has not been put in your stories, so why ask people for stories when you pick and choose and we are just left to say oh well did they really care or are we just another one we put in the back. Anyway another blow again Link Up was a dead end as usual.

    Thanks for your time a year ago in Canberra but maybe you can only pick selective stories that benefit your stories. Thanks once again for listening.

  31. Dear Katie,
    Thank you for your message and also for taking the time to chat with me on the ‘phone today.

    I am sorry to learn that you didn’t receive a resolution from Link Up. I shall contact them and contact you with further information.

    Thank you too for your response regarding the series of interviews which the National Museum filmed on the day of the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants. Your personal history is very important Katie. We are in the process of editing this crucial footage to post on our website on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Apology.

    I understand, however, that it is difficult not knowing the outcome of your generosity in sharing your experiences and so thank you for staying in touch Katie. Please feel free to email, snail mail, or ‘phone me with any contributions for our website which I will gladly post to this site according to the guidelines.

    What you have taught me, Katie, is the way in which the label “Ward of the State” can stay with one beyond childhood and affect generations afterwards. That history has to be told. Our exhibition is scheduled to open in November 2011 and the website will be ongoing beyond that time. Please forgive us if we don’t attend to all narratives at first.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings with the Museum directly, Katie. It is greatly appreciated.

  32. Hi Katie,
    Thanks again for letting me know about how you were going with Link Up.

    I’ve since heard from the Chief Executive Officer of Link Up NSW who let us know here at the Museum that she will follow up your case with her staff.

    Thanks for keeping in touch and please be assured of our sincere best wishes.

  33. Children that stood up to nuns abusive treatment were put in the pitch black dungeon for long periods of time given bread & water & told they were the devil.
    Placed by the S.C. Department into an adult mental asylum at 13 yrs of age for rebellion as a form of punishment, given multipal electric shock treatment, put in straight jackets, heavily drugged worse than a zombie and male wardens doing sexual thing to the girls.
    One of the drugs given to the Goodna girls melted plastic.

  34. In doing family research I found a death at the reception centre for Neglected Children at Royal Park 1909.

    I have seen the Pathways site but looking for more information on the receiving depot

  35. Thank-you Adele, it was such an over powering feeling of going thru my too hard basket, After the come down of the Apolilgy have to thank the Nth Coast girls, [ Shaz] and team for allowing me to Be able to swollow shame, pride, and my own Scorpio nature, and ask for help, it swollowed me whole, Once again,,,,, Thank-you for support, l have a great Dr,I tell her all,, and a very patient husband,,,, xx Would like to say to Christine, 4th october, thank-you, l felt you pain Ultimatly, you gave me strenght to get help, coz l so needed it, l still stand alone, but l now know to trust Some.. take care,xx WL, Darlene Mckay.

  36. Thank you Darlene,
    I would never presume to truly understand your experience and I am not qualified to know what would heal your hurts. Nevertheless, I am glad to know that your colleagues from the north coast could appreciate your history.

    It is so kind of you to let me know how you are and how the get-together went. Thank you.

    I am grateful, too, for your free-hearted contributions to this web site.

    Embrace the power of Scorpio!

  37. I am not sure if this is the place that I heard that a John Corbett or one of his 4 brothers who were at Kincunber Boys Home in the 1950’s was looking for details about his brothers I am able to give some past information and also connect him to some other boys who were there at the same time Thanks Lawrie

  38. Thanks for taking the time to post a message Lawrie. I have searched input into the site and haven’t come across a John Corbett. Nevertheless, if John logs onto this site and would like to contact you, he can do so by emailing me at:

    I’m having a break for the holidays but I am more than happy to follow this up in the New Year if John contacts me.

    Best wishes Lawrie.

  39. I would just like to say thank you alot Adele and your photographer for the respect and your help on the day of the march to canberra love the pictures done well have a happy and safe xmas

  40. A reply to Lawrie’s comment:

    I think it might be this post that you are referring to, although the details don’t quite match up. The Corbet family mentioned on this site were five kids, three boys (Mike, Jim and ?) but it was the two sisters that Mike wanted to find. Could be the same family though – it was the 1950s and it was Kincumber…

    It’s so cool that people are using this site to reconnect! Happy festive season, everyone.

  41. Merry Christmas Adele & George and best wishes to all your loved ones. And hope the New Year brings you lots of joy peace & happiness. Cheers Gabbi.

  42. Who remembers clearing pine trees at Clontarf? There were pines all around the place and now they’re mainly gone. There used to be pines on the north side of Manning Road that were Clontarf’s. Who cleared them? There used to be pines behind the statue of Brother Rice (that is, east of the statue), where did they go, and how? And I remember doing cross-country runs west along Manning Road, and then back again through the paddocks and pine-plantation remnants. They call that part Waterford now. Who did the pine clearing? Contractors? Machines? Boys?

  43. I was in the Coventry Home for boys between 1943 to 1948 .
    My name then was (Billy) Harold William Hooker the reason i was in the home i have not been able to find out should you have any info on the boys who where in the home during the period stated any information would be most appreciated.

  44. hi i wonder if you could get this through to the major of the portland salvation army corps in victoria i am having trouble getting an email through…………………………….dear major you might remember me i came through portland about 8 months ago i was taking my daughters story around australia…called the princess story………………people such as ben stiller…cameron diaz ……….benny hinn and others know about it now…………….in other words its starting to break out……….could you say hello to john i think it is who works at coles………i am in canberra and am staying here…….its safer than s.a. where old pedophile judges come after you………..several have gone down now………………please pray for me as we are breaking through s.a. law with the alliance………………….canberra is a great place……i will get my daughter out of s.a. soon enough………………………….if you dont remember me i am the red head with the big mouth………….back to britain……..i really enjoyed your church…but God takes us to other places somtimes…………………………love rod dixon alliance11

  45. While the bruises and pain may have healed the memories will never fade, living within the walls of the coldest house on the hill at Goulburn in the early 70s, The Gill Memorial Home for boys, over the past few months there has been so much talk about that place, but we never hear anything about the demolition, its is a constant reminder traveling the highway.

    thank you so much for your site


  46. Thanks Greg,

    It’s people like you and your willingness to share that make this website. So the thanks goes to you.

  47. 31st/1/2011 Hello My Name is Carol & I just want to say hello to all of those children that was brought up through being a Ward of the State back in the days of old from (Kildonan Children,s Home )out in Elgar Road ,Burwood Vic from 1958 untill 1965 as there was sven hundren of us out there I must say that they were pretty sad & lonely days for me being a nobodys child sitting out on the frount gate waitting for my somebody to come & take me home on one day I when in to the office to ask the then (Matron J) if she could pleas find my aunty Lorna for me & she replyed very narsty & told me to go away that I don,t have an anuty Lorna but I wouldnt take no for an answer & she finally agreed after a very long time come back to apologise to me & said to me that she should of believe me in the first place but your aunty Lorna died 3months a go she was all that I had in this world & befor the ( Matron J)died she did then again apologised to me so if theres any one out there that,s from the old Kildonan that would like to get in tuch with me can do so through Support Service for Forgotten Australians .PS:it would be grate to get to hear from some body

  48. That is deeply sad Carol.

    Why weren’t children believed? And can ‘sorry’ from the Matron ever make up for the lost hours with Aunty Lorna?

  49. I am a former child migrant, sent from an orphanage in England to an orphanage – I was 8 years old – in Western Australia (Clontarf Boys Town) in 1953. I suffered for many years from anxiety annihilation as a result of abuse, deprivation etc. Through the Grace of God, years of counselling I was delivered from my “psychological hell.” I was saved, I am saved and I am being saved. Yes, but only GOD knows who they are.

  50. Hello, I am one of you, Forgotten Australians and i have only just looked this up on the computer today. I share a kinship with forgotten australians and would like to tell you my story.

  51. Thanks Heather,
    Lovely to hear from you.

    There are several ways that you can share your narrative.

    The National Library of Australia is recording the lives and experiences of a selected group of Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants. You can express interest in being part of this project by telephoning their freecall phone number: 1800 204 290. More information about this oral history project is available at:

    Also, if you like, you can write down any of your experiences and email them to me at:
    I can then post what you have written online but I will only do so with your permission.

    If you would like to chat to me on the telephone then please feel free to email (
    me your telephone number and I will call you or you can phone me on ph: (02) 6208 5088. I can then summarise your personal history for you, if you like, and post it online that way, but again only with your approval.

    Have a look, too, at the information which you can access via the Contributors tab on this page.

    Thanks again for your message Heather. I hope to hear from you again.

  52. Hello there,

    I was in the convent of Mount Saint Canice in Hobart Tasmania. This was a Magdalene laundry and I spent almost four years in this home. To say this time of my life has was dreadful would be an understatement. i would like to share my story as well.

  53. Thanks so much Janice.

    Thanks for letting us know about Mount Canice. As a result of your response, I have added that to the post on this site entitled “Memento of slavery”.

    Please feel free to email me your story or phone as per my reply to Heather’s response below.

    Thanks again for your comment, Janice. Much appreciated.

  54. This is for Rod Dixon dated 10/1/11.

    Wow : you mentioned pedophile judges come from S.A, I have been told this is true. Do you know of victims that were sexually abused by pedophile judges in S.A. ?
    S. Australian M.P Trish Drapper did a right up in the paper [ I think it was the Canberra Times] aprox 15 yrs ago, high prophile pedophile people in S.A are part of the Family Killers.

    Judge Kirby gives tribute to Scientist Alfred Kinsey, Kinsey was a sadomasochistic pederast and paid other pedophiles to molest children as young as 2 months old.
    Determined detective; Dr. Judith Reinsman has deciated decades of research to exposing the Kinsey con. A documentary on Kinsey was shown on SBS recently.

    Punch on the net Kinsey; Deviancy is the New Normal by Selwyn Duke

  55. My mother Cheryln Rose Elliott was in Winbirra during 1972, whilst she was pregnant with me. She has since passed on and I am looking for information that will help fill some gaps that I have.

    If you were in Winbirra/Winlaton during 1972 and remember my mum, could you please contact me via email.

    Many Thanks

  56. If anyone would like to respond to Jodie Zahra’s query, please feel free to email me at
    and I can pass on either any information you have to Jodie and/or your email address but only with your permission of course.

    I am happy to help either on this site or by emailing privately. Whatever is more comfortable.

  57. My father (Glen David Baylis (or Glenville) has many times sadly mentioned alot of his youth spent at “MITTAGONG BOYS HOME”.

    He was born in 1951, and as far as i know, spent many years (im guessing in his very early teens or even before this between maybe 1955-1965 sort of timeframe) at this institution. he was a wayward kid, who was in and out of homes, and eventually the prison system down the track.

    this was ancient history, we have grown up a very normal life for many years, but Recently also he got his birth certificate, which revealed he has a brother, 2 years older aswell… ROBERT JOHN BAYLIS.. My dad vaguely remembers another figure in his very early youth, perhaps even when he was at the MITTAGONG BOYS HOME. but has limited or no memories of this person.

    I am wondering if by chance…. anyone has heard of, or would know where to find information about my father GLEN DAVID BAYLIS, or his brother ROBERT JOHN, and his/their time spent at mittagong.

    any help or info would be great….
    i’ve always been curious about many of the stories he has told me over the years… both good and bad

  58. I have read the misery of each and everyone of you and I am so very sorry. I know that being an FA is very diffucult. However why haven’t you moved on past the bitterness, for me it has been 52 years and 4 months since my trauma began. At age 40, life was hard. I had Breast Cancer and was the same age as when my mother had been when she passed away with cancer. My life flashed before my eyes and I saw that I had not lived my life but merely survived it. I made the decision to help mysef develop past survival. I went to TAFE and received qualifications so that I could earn a decent wage. I did not tell my children of my history until they were adults. I sacrificed myself for their welfare and the chance of them getting a good education. I led by example with hard work and study. Our lives got a whole lot better.We had our problems with personality differences but I hung in and guided and directed them so that they would never ever have to survive as I did. That they would never be damaged in the way I have been, that no one would ever punish them unreasonably, that no one would ever come to the door for my kids and that when they grew up they would join society, not fight it. I have come to terms with everything that happened, I can never forget or forgive the evil, unprofessional behavior of the employees of the child welfare dept. nor the courts, the law and the minister in charge, the failure of the government to stop the brutality. I just don’t let it eat me. I live my life because I have had grave illnesses that I have defied science with three times, I do not want my granchildren to grow up without me being around and I love my children with a mother tigers heart. I have survived more than the ten years of confinement. I refuse to give the government any more of me! It might help to get into the protests and lobby your local politicians. Otherwise go to a psychologist until you see that beating yourself up contantly is the same as some one else beating you up only thing is you cannot run from yourself. I hope we all survive to see some redress but I would not mark time waiting, there is life to live. Survive people, don’t let the bastards win. Please.

  59. Thanks Maureen,
    Perhaps there is fine line between recording history and moving on. The National Museum is a social history museum, the first of its kind in Australia and our work involves preserving the personal narratives of Australians.

    More can be read about our work here:

    I am sorry if the collection of the experiences of those who lived in Children’s Homes is seen as preventing anyone from healing.

    I wonder, too, if many contributors to this site have in fact moved on, personally, and yet still generously recall their time in Homes in order to add to this chapter in our history so that these precious stories are not lost.

    Nevertheless, Maureen, you raise an important point: does the practice of social history imprison contributors in the past?

    Thank you for your consideration Maureen. You have certainly provided food for thought.

  60. Maureen Redding,

    I dont see F.A as being bitter who havnt moved on as you have stated. I see them as courageous & strong individuals just like yourself. It took many years for F.As to actually talk about what they went through as children in orphanages/institutions, due to shame guilt its their fault & not worthy of life, and there are those who wont speak about it because its too tramatic.

    Thank God for Care leavers Clan, Broken Rites, Child Migrants, Stolen Generation, Lotus and all the others that I havnt mentioned. Because of them F.As experiences would not of been heard today. Thank God for their encouragement and care for exposing what Forgotten Australians suffered as children. Each and every F.A testomonies are priceless their testomonies should be written in history books.

    The Department Of Community Services have learnt from the mistakes in the past with the F.As & Stolen Gerenations and promised children of today will not go through what F.As did.

    Thank God Premier Anna Bligh had a heart and gave Redress to some she made the mistake by closing Redress as there are many who should receive Redress like the girls that were dumped into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment for REBELLION to nuns abuse.

  61. Maureen Redding

    I was moved by your letter, however many of these victims are finding out that the only healing to their pain is to speak out about it. The Governments and the Churches have done next to nothing and washed their hands from the blood on them and said we are not really all that guilty sort of thing.

    The stupid idea of offering these 50-60 year old older ladies” cooking lessons” and the similar sort of help of that nature is evil and ridiculous .You were fortunate in your situation that you had sufficient education to use it to improve your education and life style quite a lot, God bless you for all your efforts. Most of these victims have been abused to such a degree that education was a sad joke which was promised them! Survival was more important to them then than education.
    If this abuse had happened to Politicians and or these Church people , youd never hear the end of it , plus the compo would flow like a river. But their silence is deafening now.

    Maureen , these people do not have any [or extremely very little ] HELP from the Government or the Churches or the Medical Profession that used them as guinea pigs ,…. with the full knowledge of the Government and Churches, and their only form of healing is in ‘talking’ about it. The Government do not want them to talk about this , neither do the Churches as their guilt is quit evident, others like yourself are trying to deny them expression of this “healing ‘ by saying “Get over it and move on ” Where are they that care and offer any help? Where also is the Justice for these people?

    Some F.A.s may of suffered psychological trauma but didnt go through rape torture and many Forgotten Australian children lost their lives.
    The survivers have moved on in life with many testomonies to tell. Thank God the Australian National Museum has allowed them to expose what was done to them with out insinuating they are bitter or have not moved on. Life has gone on for every F.Australian some with wealth good carers, some vagabondsothers extreme poverity.
    Ive noticed the F.As that went through the worst are the ones most silent , so others are voicing for them in righteousness anger .
    I believe if the Government compensated them they would know they are acknowledged and they are genuine in apology not with lip service only but proof by compensation.

  62. I was wondering if my last comment could be removed please..

    I am looking for People who did time in the child psychiatric unit Call stubbs Terrace psychiatric hospital for children.. Children were sent there from princess margaret hospital, it is not Grace Vaughan House like I thought, It is the building next door..

    And just an ask… How do you move on.. you are taken from 1 form of abuse and thrown into different homes with different forms of abuse.. I felt safer walking the streets of Perth by myself.. No one ever abused me as a child when i was walking the steets by myself.. Now I have problems even going out to the shops.. I walk with my head down and dare not look anybody in the eyes.. I wait for who is going to attack or beat me next.. I have found after going through Redress WA i have gone backwards not fowards.. The problems I have with just doing everyday things has got worse.. even a simple hug from my kids creeps me out.. Redress WA has been an ordeal in its self.. It leads to total frustration and you also are reliving everything again..
    Redress WA is just a game to send us over the edge I feel.. We were told we could get our records.. no problems they say.. this is not so.. I got my records.. so much missing.. all case conference reports and all psych reports, all the institutions records not there either.. When i got my records it went to when I was 17.. There was a whole year of wardship missing.. I rung them up and quoted events that went down in that year and they said “oh yes we saw that, we didnt think it was important”… Now if I ask for ALL records, case conference reports psych reports, any reports that made decisions with my life that is what I expect to get.. I asked for my reports from Walcott Nyandi, Longmore and many more homes I was in.. well this is not happening.. to get our records we are told to ring this person, ring that person, then ring the first person you rang, then try this and that and all you get is lead to frustration.. I was very specific in what I asked for.. I feel its just a plot to send us over the edge.. Our government (Colin Barnett) told us we were not worth a max payment of 80k to 45k.. So how are we supposed to feel.. Its just another process to abuse and neglect us all over again.. come forward they say.. tell your story they say.. then we do and they change the rules.. nothing fun about this and instead of moving forward I find my time is ring one place to another being lead to frustration and made to feel little and insignificant all over again..
    So how do we move forward???

  63. As requested I have removed your previous comment DOCS R.

    With best wishes,

  64. Thank you Adele for removing that post.. there is a few errors in my last post but i guess people get the idea..

    We were brought out of hiding as a political stunt for the politicians to gain brownie points.. nothing more… I tried seeing a psych but knowing one thing they feel is wrong I could lose my last child still living at home as she is not old enough to leave home is a big fear.. I trust nobody that has the power to destroy what life I have.. The memories of remain from when I a child being made to go see a shrink when my abuser was the reason they were having so many problems with me and then I am the one locked up in nothing more than i can call a psychcological jail for children forever taunted and teased at school because you were a HOME KID from the Psycho wards.. What problems do you think a child is going to have when burried naked in a hole to their neck with not even a hand free to shoo the flies that were over their face due to tears, tied or chained to clothes lines or trees, beat with a belt that was like 10cm wide but not with the belt but the buckle and then salt rubbed in the wounds or their head rammed into objects or objects wedged in their head because they are not reading properly at 6 years , my abuse was doccumented in many school records but used against me not to help me . Then as they got older the abuse got worse so RUN was the only option.. To be then tagged as trouble and locked up in government and salvation army homes to be raped and told it was my one fault because I ran away from sexual & physical abuse from males in the home and it was all just swept under the rug.. How do you trust the same people that locked you up?? When you know what the government & churches are capable of doing you go through life trusting nobody. Getting help is hard for some.. their fear of what the government may do sticks in their head. And when we see how cold and callous the liberal government in WA are towards us makes us feel awful just like when we were kids… Our government is all about our city looking pretty not whats happening to the people or the children in this city not about helping those neglected by our government “carers”.. Not a second thought to halving a Redress fund telling lies there is no money but theres all this surpluss to waste on new airconditioned government offices and then the people of Perth are told they can live without aircon. We watch the Liberal Government buy art and what not else that is really not needed.. How can we move on when our government pretty much tells us we arent worth anything while they get new offices, art, airconditioning & what not else… In western Australia we were fed Lies.. Colin Barnett smiles when telling us there isnt the money for the Redress WA fund there but in the next sentence there is new this n that happening in or around his offices.. we care they said, we are sorry they said but in the same sentence their actions come across like our years of neglect and abuse are worth nothing…
    The government abuse never ends for us… Sorry is just a hollow word used to fool us into a false sense of security.. All states should be getting equal Redress and services but all we see is some states getting services and some getting redress while others dont this is just turning FA against Fa and state against state where we should all be fighting as one.. It is the Australian Government that were our “carers” it is the Australian government that abused us, neglected us and our needs, did drug trials on us and so many more atrocities.. We would love nothing more than to move on, but we have a very big imprint left in our minds from our “carers”and then we see more abuse and neglect happening to us all..

  65. The horror, the injustice of the victim being punished while the perpetrator goes free.

    I know is it is nowhere near consolation enough but I am so sorry for the way that you were treated DOCS R.

    You are so strong to write your experience.

    And regarding your experience of redress, it is clear that actions speak louder than words.

    Thank you so much for adding to this site, and so powerfully.

  66. Raped at 8. Watched as sisters were tortured, 10yrs in Institutions, bashed because not one in my family came to look for me, and when I found them all they saw me as “different to them”. I know what happened to all of us. I want compensation, I work hard toward the cause of justice for all Forgotten Australians, I am a pain in the politicans arse and will continue to be. I would record my history but I have a plan. Please do not think that at age 7 when I entered the institutions that I was educated. I just read books to try and hide within the fantasy of the story and finally at age 40 years with the help of a kind friend I went to TAFE. If my friend had not enrolled me I would not have had the joy of learning. I know what they did with some. My younger sister was dsylexic and wrote phonetically, I could understand her but the government sent her to Brush Farm as a scholastic retard, she was as bright as anyone, she just had a different way of writing words to paper. Our sister younger than her was raped. The 3 of us had hell. I care for those who were never given or never shown an entry into society. Please do not assume that I don’t ache for justice or that I do not suffer from the years of trauma that I still experience today. My sister and I made a vow to fight the good fight for all Forgotten Australians but especially those who never had the opportunity to stand up and scream for retribution. The poor darling kids that no one ever came along and showed them the way that I was shown. I still become very upset and emotional if I have to address my past and yes I do get on with it, my life for the sake of my grandchildren. I have no one to confide in who understands except other FAs but the government think of budgets. I have had face to face meetings with most of the NSW state politicians and although moved by the story I tell them about the FA, the only response is budgets and policies. I continue to activate my right of protest and spoke in NSW Parliament last Wednesday for the FA when I found out that the Government had reduced the VCT for all NSW residents to enhance their budgets. Clan was there and Leonie spoke for the FAs also. There were no other representatives for the FAs. I work constantly for all of us. Do not judge me, join me in harrassing your local member. Ifeel for us all, I really do but as I said previouly, the bastards won’t get another day of my life, but I still cry at night for what might have been. I am sorry if I offended anyone as this was never my intention.
    For Adele, it does not matter how any of us survive, this sh** is in the frontal lobe of the brain and no one can forget it, ever, no matter how hard, no matter whether they can read and write that some were lucky enough to learn and try to fit in. I am always the freak show in industry because I still think differently to most. I am the high achiever in industry that gets bullied and gossiped about for that difference. I know how disturbing the Apology was for me, I know the inference and insult of no compensation. I know that we all relived the trauma we had tried hard to forget. I also see the number of public servants employed to deal with us, they get a weekly wage on feeding off our misery, we are offered counselling and lip service. I am angry but I choose to be the best person that I can be and if this is wrong then you tell me what is right.

  67. Wow!

    Thanks Maureen.

    Thank you too for what you have taught me in the paragraph addressed to me.

    With best wishes,

  68. To Ash Bayles,
    I spent 3 years in one home at Mittagong and i understand why your dad do’s not say much.
    Please write a letter to clan to go into there news letter and you may find who you seek, i pray you do, i myself do not remember many names as you were a number mostly,
    There was 2 state ward boys homes on Bong Bong road Mittagong and another in town itself,
    A girls home was eastablished in the early 70s as well, there is so much i carn’t recall and best forgot as your dad do’s.
    some kids were fostered as my brothers were and names changed, birth, deaths and marriges must have a record of this.
    kids were told lies about there siblings as were they went.
    mine were fostered and i never seen them for some 40 or so years,
    The Salvation army has whats called the speacil seach unit that i beleave could assist as well, they found my brothers after 40 years,
    Garry Shooks

  69. I have been searching for any information about these two sisters:
    Francis Margaret McCONNELL and Kate McCONNELL. I eventually found their burial in the Nudgee Catholic Cemetery, Brisbane. Deaths recorded as Francis 14/03/1973, Kate 24/01/1969.

    I think that they were orphaned in the late 1880’s when babies. I also found a record of a Phillipa McCONNELL listed on the QLD Mental Asylum record, who I think may have been their mother. Now I am wondering if these sisters were in the Nudgee Orphanage back in the 1890’s 1900’s. and remained connected to the services of the Catholic Church for the remainder of their lives? Can you give me any information regarding this matter,and if not can you refer me to some agency/service who could help me please?

  70. Will my voice be silenced if I visite here? It’s the STATE library afterall.

  71. Hi Syliva,
    I can understand your lack of trust. If governments have failed you in the past, why would they serve you now?

    I cannot guarantee that I this site will do everything that you’d like it to but the National Museum of Australia, which looks after this website is genuinely interested in your personal history.

    Why are we interested? Because it is our job. We are a social history museum and so we exist to reveal the stories of ordinary and extraordinary Australians.

    We won’t silence you and we do have some guidelines for contributors at:

    The National Library of Australia has its name at the bottom of this page because they are collecting oral histories of Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants. It is the National Museum of Australia that runs this website.

    Please feel free to call me if you’d like to chat with me about this website on phone: (02) 6208 5088. You can also email me at

    Thank you for telling us your concern. It is good to know what you think. So thank you Sylvia and let me know if there’s anything that I can do to make it easier for you to share your history, if that’s what you would like to do, and we will respect your decision, whatever you decide.

  72. Mt Maria -Good Sheperd Convent – Michelton Brisbane 1960’s

    When I was a young girl I lived with my maternal grandmother in Wavell Heights. My mother was a nutter and kept disappearing and my father was a drunk. She passed away and I was taken by the police (who were very kind) to Mt Maria. I spent a few years there with the nuns from The Good Shepherd.
    Mother Veronica was the head sister. I have no horror stories to tell, I never saw any cruelty, either to myself nor to my other friends in the dorm. There were 12 of us to a dorm. We had lessons, we had art, ballet, piano, acting (I was in “Salad Days” and on opening night ( it was BIG) gave the welcoming speech to the visiting dignitaries). They fixed my teeth, encouraged me to swim, we played hockey, one nun, Mother Julian played the guitar & loved opera & indeed, took 4 of us to see Joan Sutherland. Make no mistake, we were dressed (there was a loft with donated clothes) beautifully and in fashion. I hated the Opera by the way! But have learnt to love it in my old age.!! In NO way do I wish to minimise the experiences of the women who suffered so inhumanely at other institutions. I was still a ward of the state, but I want to say that Michelton was a God send for me, personally. I could have gone to Holy Cross!!! Ugh! There were plenty of horror stories about that place & Nudgee!. The “home” was safe and good. Yes, I did l laundry duty( I was on the mangle taking sheets off it with another girl & I always had a book in my hand at the same time, Mother Pauline (she was Maltese) used to take it off me when she would catch me, but always give it back after my chore was done) – but only on Saturday mornings – for which I was paid 2/6d- which we got to spend in the tuckshop on Saturday afternoons. We had a full threatre on the site and movie houses were generous enough to donate a film every week for us. I remember seeing “To Catch a Thief” . They taught me (by bringing in individuals to show us) how to eat from the inside in,, how to do my hair , grooming etc.The worst thing I did was smoke brown paper & tealeaves with some girls & we had to stand in the corner of the verandah for 4 hours, facing the wall. They got me my first!
    job. It was the Qld Credit Bureau.
    I grew into a “fine” adult and visited the home for a long time after I left. I just want someone to know, there was a “good” home and I was lucky enough to be in it. I am now 61 and I have recently moved to Sydney Parramatta & on one of my walks I saw the Home in Fleet Street and my curiosity was immediate. I have been to visit & enquire so many homes in my travels as a NSW regional consultant & bought so many books on each , my heart hurts for those who were not so fortunate as I was. This does not help these poor, tormented souls – but it should be known that all were not so heartless.

  73. Hi: Lucy,

    Thankyou for telling us your experiences in the home, its great to hear that you were treated great by the nuns which is refreshing to hear and you suffered no harm not even psychological. Indeed you were one of the lucky ones which I find rather astonishing to finally read someone that wasnt effected by a systems of abuse neither experienced psychological, sexual ,torture, not to forget those who lost their lives thankyou.

    We were admitted to the orphanage at 3/4 yrs of age a few years after our father returned from the killing fields in the war he was a front line soldier. Dad had shapnel wounds on his eye brow and back and drank to counteract the memorys of killing fields and sometimes when drunk bashed my mother but not his children as he loved them dearly. Mum not having a home neither a job resulted in us becoming wards of the state and placed into an orphanage because of poverity, I wish we were in the orphanage you were in Lucy.
    I cried my self to sleep many times with no comfort and cuddles that children needed, the psychological abuse started at 3 yrs of age, we were caned for crying and comaned not to cry.
    At 5 years of age at breakfast I tried to eat bread soaked with milk with no sugar. I couldnt comsume it all resulting me vomiting it up unfinished, the nun commanded me to finish and eat everything in my bowel but couldnt so she forced feed the remaining food into my mouth, then canned for performing.

    I was placed into the naughty dark room but threatned to be placed there which was terrifying, everyone in the home we were in knew of the naughty dark room.
    Running away at 7 yrs of age I was wacked with Sister Clares brush, I ate food from school rubbish bins and one time when returning home from school at 14 yrs of age, a black headed pimple faced man lured me into his car. He pushed me onto my back trying to kiss me, I turned my head side to side spitting at him at the same time he was trying to undo my supender belt . I mannaged to get my knees touching my stomach area and kicking him with all my ‘might” that the heal of my shoe came right off, then returned home hours later when everyone was having tea, because that incident took a couple of hours.

    I had a sister in the orphanage that I didnt know I had, some how they kept us seperate from each other, but was introduced as sisters 3 weeks prior to being fostered out to the same foster parents. My sister was with the foster parents for 4 yrs myself 6 years, so I only new my sister for 4 years and no existance of her until 45 years later when Clan informed me how I may be able to find her which I did.

    Lucy, when leaving the orphanage very scared I was not worthy as a person neither life and everything was my fault and carried a lot of complexes such as guilt and everything was my fault.
    Surviving was difficult, sometimes I had to preform sex acts wanking off filhy dirty men as a way of life. One time I met a young man who asked me to his home 4 other men were there un be known to me, they grabbed me and pack raped me. My eyes was on the door planing my escape, the opportunity arose for my escape whilst they were discusing something between them selves after they raped me. I jumped up and ran out the back door for my life terrified and lucky to be alive.

    Having this massive complex everything was my fault, I didnt go to the police thinking they would blame me because I was invited to his house and went, asuming police would would say it was my fault. I did not know there were others in the house and certainly didnt know what was to happen and how could of known as I was very gulliable naive and only 17 yrs of age and still a ward of the state.

    45 yrs later when my sister & myself were conected with the help of government and I spoke by phone to my sister. I asked her what happened when they sent her back to the home from the foster parents. I was numb for a month when she told me the horrific torture she went through from the nuns and what nuns did to other children and her self whist in the orphanage before fostered out and returning to the home.

    My sister had the God given ability to stand up to anyone that treated her bad also defended other children that were treated bad. Nuns dragged children by the hair and caned, my sister stood up to them and the children would come to my sister for protection.
    The nuns hated my sister and couldnt break her sprit to comform their extreeme milatry authority. Many times they shoved her in the pitch black dungeon for hours giving her bread and water telling her she was the devil. One time in front of all the children my sister grabbed the nuns cane and broke it in half. She told me no child should be treated as children were treated by those nuns and she is glad she broke her cane some one had too.
    For adolesecent rebellion and her bad behavour [ standing up to their abuse and systems of abuse], she was placed into an adult mental asylem where they gave her 10/12 electric shock treatments, put her in straight jackets, heavilly drugged worse than a zombie and stated she knew sex was performed on children goods promised to them that they never received. One of the drugs given to the girls in the asylum melted plastic.

    In the orphanage there were many followers and not allowed to be thinkers or express our thoughts, we obeyed with fear and trembelly. The strong ones with the God given abiity to stand up to the abuse were deemed or classified as naughty and consequently copped the worse. If you obeyed bully treatment then no conquences them being the authority children had no chance for standing up to bad abusive treatment.

    My sister belives foster parents specificly fostered orphans to be their work slaves.
    ” Before we went to school,” we had to empty the piss pots into the thunder box which was a fair way from the house, the piss and shit spilling onto your hands when going down the 4 steps which was difficult to do when you were only 8 & 9 years of age. Washing the breakfast dishes making the beds and sweeping the floors with a straw broom. After school we had to chop chips for the fire place put them in the cart with the big wood pull the cart to the house then place the wood in the fire box. We helped with the washing and only we polished the floors on our hands and knees.

  74. My young days were spent at Clontarf boys town WA. from 54 to 1960 under the care of the Christian Brothers and the government child welfare .
    My life there was no diffident to most stories you have heard or read of times by the lads while at Clontarf. BOYS TOWN.

    My biggest concern was the lack of care from the welfare department one I left school. this I have told REDRESS who have totally ignored my concerns due to the fact its government and many of the lads who ended in jail was because of the welfare DEPARTMENTS LACK OF CARE..

    Mr Barnett has ordered they do not investigate the then welfare departments to save face and to put all the blame on to the orphanage .
    when talking to other lads and people from other orphanages and told them of what I see is happening no person was ill treated more than another yet REDRESS has given some people $3000 ,$5000,$ 13000 $28000 ,$40 000, $45000, why.
    One person i spoke too got 45000 and a follow up letter to let him know he was due to get his REDRESS money on top of the already $45000 letter .
    I asked him why he said he had the loudest voice when protesting .. REDRESS is a scam every one should have received the same amount .

    To be escorted to the main gate and told don’t come back no welfare person to guide you only the catholic welfare department who treated every one like dogs.

    I was told 2 times of deportation because I had no papers to say HOW I got into Australia yet the government was taken my tax .
    I had no passport no identity no idea how to do a tax sheet . Ii was dumped on a farm and left to defend for myself .
    when I was shot accidently no welfare department people cam to see me. no case was made for me to claim compensation I was just another BRITISH migrant as was stamped on all correspondence from the welfare departments.

    I had been told my mother dumped ME int o an orphanage in UK yet she wrote me a letter every month and the brothers hid them in a shoe box. under the instructions of the child welfare department . yet REDRESS refuses to accept this as damaging,
    I sent them a 52 page file all of this ignored to save face
    Mr Barnett who was not even born when this was happening IN THE 50S .


    I HAD SIGNED AND WRITTEN ON THE payment SHEET offered to me UNDER PROTEST AND HURT TO SEE THIS GOVERNMENT IS NO BETTER THAN IT WAS IN 1950s 60s. and hiding its own dirty work behind the orphanage brothers and sisters.

    signed Tony

  75. Dear Anthony,
    I am so sorry that Redress is so painful – ‘insult to injury.

    I am so sorry about the way you were treated then and now.

    You matter Anthony, and your personal history matters.

    Thank you for telling the National Museum about your experience.

  76. The so called Christian Church failed us as did the government I am surprised to read one person thank God for Anna Bligh so sad that is all that person can be thankful for remember she was Minister for Families etc in the Beattie government and did nothing to make sure integerity was a foremost option now Premier she has washed her hands of the rape of state wards I challenge Bligh to hold a ROYAL COMMISSION re the abuse of child in state care and Heiner Affair???????

  77. Hi, I was never placed in any kind of home or institution, so I think myself truly blessed.
    However my mother, uncle and brother were and the stories they related to me, well you’d think they would have to be fiction as it’s hard to comprehend one human being doing something so disgusting and sickening like that to another.
    My mother before she passed away related to me what it was like at the Nudgee Home in Brisbane when she and her siblings were put in as a child and the very harsh and cruel treatment handed out by the nuns there. My uncle became an alcoholic for the rest of his life and I understand now why he drank so much, I guess it was his way of forgetting the rape and abuse he received in the boys home.
    My brother was put into The Westbrook Home, Toowoomba and the whippings, sexual abuse and torture there, you’d have thought he was relating tales from the dark ages. I can see how messed up my brother still is and I have to ask you, I wonder how much different my mums life and my uncle and brothers would have been without the so-called care from institutions that truly had no place here on earth or the next place.
    To all who went through absolute hell through no fault of your own, my heart truly goes out to you.
    Thanks for reading

  78. Hi all.
    I am 40 year old woman who spent a very small amount of time at the Allambie Reception Centre in Burwood in the period of 1976-1978, I have no horror stories to tell i don’t even remember it all that much but i do have a need to know more about the place and what happened there (meaning the routines and lay out etc). What i would like to know is if any one out there has any photo’s of that period, did they take group photo’s of the kids and the activities that went on there, i am having a really hard time finding any on the internet, they just dont seem to have much about the place. Any way if anyone has any information that they can share i would be really greatful.

  79. Hi, Steve Koultis,

    In response to your letter dated 14/3/11 about Premier Anna Bligh.
    I agree 100% what you had to say how Premier Anna Bligh has washed her hands with the rape that took place with Forgotten Australians and challenge a Royal Commission.
    Not only rapes, child slavery, dumping children into adult mental asylums for adolesecent rebellion [wasnt rebellion it was standing up to nuns abuse] as a form of punishment, systems of abuse, psychological damage and 5/6 year old girls private parts examined fiddled, resulting no bleeding when having their first sexual encounter hymen damage broken from the examation.
    In the asylum 10/12 electric shock treatments placed in straight jackets, drugged worse than zombies and sexual things were done to state ward children in the asylum, sleeping with a dead body in your ward due to a girl having a fit possibly from having electric shock treatment, nurses called but they failed to come till the following morning.

    What was done to children in the asylums was nothing more than torture and Premier Anna Bligh , SHE KNOWS THAT IT WAS TORTURE and yet she is doing nothing about it.

  80. To Terry Dean and Ron and any other abused children of the Box Hill Boys Home, I would like to get in touch with you. The abuse we suffered will long be remembered and there are groups that can be of help like Open Place in Richmond Victoria and CLAN in NSW.

    Moderator’s note: Stephen very generously provided his email address. Rightly or wrongly, I edited it from his lovely message, because as public servants we have a duty of care to protect and I didn’t want to Stephen to be the target of unwelcome emails and possible viruses.

    However, if any former residents of Box Hill Boys Home would like to contact Stephen, then please feel free to contact me at and I assure you that I will pass on the information.

    Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this policy, Stephen. I am happy to discuss further of course.

    Thanks again for your generous contribution Stephen.

    With best wishes,

  81. Does anyone reading this know any info about a charles Fisher ?
    possibly a state ward. born about 1830.
    maybe from york, eng.
    he also lived in victoria, and was buried at mysia.

  82. Hi,
    I am wondering if anyone may have photographs from 1955-1956 at the Orphanage in Ballarat. The one that I am after is at St Joseph’s later changed to Nazareth House in Sebastopel. The reason (and I hope) is to obtain something relating to myself, and my two younger brothers, Kerry Shane, and Kevin. Kerry Shane known as Shane has passed away in the past three years.
    Thanking you in anticapation,
    Dennis Fogarty

  83. Michael you are AMAZING! I send you much love and a huge hug!

    we can develop into a more peaceful and humane society if less emphasis is placed on anger, hatred and condemnation on real or imagined vices and persons.

  84. A treatise:

    Sex was socially/culturally stifled during my formative years, but this was very much the norm of the Victorian Era. For us Convent Girls we were served a double whammy! many of us had been sexually abused in some way or another already and, any normal development into young women with desire was castrated psychologically by the Nun’s and their insistence of us being sinful little horrors! Catholicism and all it’s grandeur BS about purity and virginity was the icing on the cake for me……….. it distorted my sexuality and femininity even more
    @ a crucial hormonal age. In fact I had one or two periods before I entered the Convent at 13 and never menstruated again for many years. Biology is an amazing thing and can be cut off by psychological trauma.
    Anyway, one of the Nuns, Mother Damian, ended up leaving the convent for a man! I remember she was always a bit of a rebel, young, pretty and she would have her hair poking out from her Vail to Mother Superiors obvious disdain. I got a giggle out of that and, so did Mother Damian. It was all hushed up but it was the local goss -one minute she was there and next poooof she was gone!- I used to fantasize that she was off with her boyfriend having wild sex! even tho I had no idea what that really was…. wild sex that is…. I was just happy for her breaking out of the system.

    Sex or anything close to it was NEVER mentioned. Our bodies were sacred working, praying machines.

  85. I was made a ward of the state at age 14 when my parents and I were forced into children’s court one day and the judge declared I was a ‘neglected child’. I was NOT neglected, Mum had to work in order to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Dad was an alcoholic and a cronic gambler so Mum HAD to work and a dim view was taken on Mothers who left their children at home while they went to work. That was in the early 1960’s wow haven’t things changed. I was taken to the Mt Lawley Receiving home in Perth for a few weeks then sent to a live in job about two hours drive from Perth. My welfare officer NEVER came to check up on me and I was subjected to rape by a co worker, who was MUCH older than me. The couple whose ‘care’ I was in, were in a violent relationship and he would beat her constantly. He was an ex Major in the British army and I remember one evening, ripping the horse’s bridle from his hand as he raised it to hit his wife across the head. I ended up running away from there and went back home but welfare felt I wasn’t safe so took me to the Home of the Good Shepherd in Leederville where I was turned into child slave labour and abuse from religion that I didn’t understand. My Nan was Native American and taught me how to speak with my Creator, by looking up at the sky. I was constantly punished for refusing to bow my head in church after the nuns had convinced me an evil being lived underground waiting to burn me up for eternity. Why on earth would any sane person want to look down there and pray? There were many ways of punishment and abuse and I’m sure you are all familiar with them. I have great respect for all of you who suffered in silence, I know how you feel. My welfare officer never once asked me if I was doing ok, coping, feeling etc. I don’t think we were meant to have feelings. In the convent we were certainly worked like slaves and we didn’t dare touch another girl in case we all turned into lesbians. Welfare did see it fit though, to subject us to an internal examination every 3months, by a man they said was a Dr. I never saw a sign saying this outfront of his house and there was never a nurse present. They would drop us at his house then pick us up about half an hour later, probably after they’d been for coffee somewhere. We were only ever taken one at a time by our individual welfare officer and it was only the welfare girls who had to do this. The ‘private’ inmates weren’t subjected to the abuse, neglect and embarrasment. I’m interested in catching up with anyone who was in ‘Shepherds’ during those times, when President Kennedy was assasinated. I’m 63 now, have 5 wonderful adult children and 8 teenage grandkids. Oh……and I still don’t bow my head when I speak with my Creator.


  87. Alfred i read your coment with interest. I am sorry i dont remember you from Clontarf , its been such a long time since we were all there I do remember a lot of Maltese boys from Clontarf sadly many are not with us today. I have come out to tell my story in suport of others. THE ONLY PAIN I HAVE RIGHT NOW IS TRYING TO WRITE THIS REPLY DUE ONLY BEING ABLE TO TYPE WITH ONE FINGER. I FOUND THE Maltese lads were tough hard workers and they made very good friends. Alfered i have never looked for pity, only i have asked for understanding and acknowlgedment fore the things that hapened to us while we were under the protection of the welfare. Since i left Clontarf i got married and ended up with my wife owning and runing several buisnesses. Alfered keep in contact best of wishes Michael.

  88. Garry Shooks -Your poems brought tears to my eyes. Barnardos is a painful memory for me (as it probably is for you and your sister). I still do not understand why I was branded the ‘bad’ one because I wanted to escape a paedophile father. Great system we have, especially when he was/is still given access to children. Keep writing, it is a good healer.

  89. My sister and I were sent to a girls orphanage by the name of Tufnell Home. My sister and I found ourselves uprooted from a fairly comfortable home life and sent to this home. On arrival at this homestead (way out on the Darling Downs) and having our own clothes taken from us and put in a uniform, our hair was cut and we were seperated, my sister going into a room with some older girls, while I placed on a single bed in the corridor.
    I did not find it as difficult as my sister did and we spent some months there until it was discovered we were not true orphans, still having both our parents still living. We were sent back to out grandmother in Toowoomba.
    I have tried over the years to find out more about Tufnell Home at Westbrook but everytime I came up against a brick wall. It appears that no records have survived and I was told to write to the Drayton Church, which I did but they could only tell me that we were at Westbrook between 1942-45 and nothing else. My sister and I cannot agree on how long we stayed there.

    Where did these children come from, I can remember being told that the children and the sisters had been sent from Brisbane because the Americans had taken over their building. What happened to these children after my sister and I left? did they go back to Brisbane.

    I have tried to find anyone who was there during this time or descandants, but nothing, only from those who were in Brisbane before and after this time. We were well treated even if we ha to walk miles to school and church and did not received much attention from the sisters, but why the mystery as to when these children were removed from Brisbane.

  90. Hi Dennis I was at St Joseph’s baby’s home from 56-61 I have a couple of old ones someone sent me and also have some that have been taken in the last few years. Not sure whether you want me to post them here or not so I will send them on to Adele to send to you. Were you sent over to the boys part. I remember when you turned 5 the boys were sent to Nazareth Boys which was right next door and the girls were sent to Nazareth Girls which was in Ballarat. You may know my brothers. cheers Gabbi

  91. How wonderful Gabbi,
    I’m more than happy to pass the photos onto Dennis.

    Thank you so much.

  92. Hello Adele,
    Thank you for uploading the picture of “My Ireland” little apron given to me by Sister Judith Kelly when I was a young child at Kincumber Children Home on the central coast in NSW, Australia. I am grateful to you for accepting this piece as it is such a positive story in so many dreadful memories. I fully acknowledge the dreadful part of this Forgotten Australian story as I to have this part to my story. This apron was given to me by a beautiful light in my life. I wish to share this light with all of Australia. Mary Brownlee xo

  93. im been searching for answers, seeing noone knows how perthic [pathetic]. but What really happened to us children. I was told some intersting things lately that got me thinking and researching and it’s true that in Canada 67 orphans were lobotomized, psychiatrists cut their brains out then sent their bodies to the Universities to be dissected? Eugenics was widely popular in the early decades of the 20th century, but by the late 20th century it had fallen into disfavor, having become associated with Nazi Germany. And Vienne au compared the cold water plunges and the drug use to experiments performed on children in Nazi-run concentration camps in Europe. The So called British Christian policies kill lots of aboriginals and Hundreds of tribes disappear. Then there’s the Stolen Generations. For many years human trafficking is been going on in Australia and still is. For years white babies were getting taking off their mother at some hospitals in Australia and sold. And also the stolen and forgotten generation. It’s time to make a difference. It’s time to speak out and take a stand and look after one another. If we don’t who will.. we have the right to know the truth.they were playing with our lives.there much be someone out there that does know the truth of what really happenedand if so dont be screared i will stick by you if you help us. they’ve had the power too long. its our turn for a come back they started this i will finish it to help others aswell as my self. we deserve it.

    After speaking with others I’m starting to believe it’s the only answer that makes any since and it’s the only way that all the health and other departments and the governments could get away with all of the things that they did to us children. Which is: Seeing Australia Canada and Britain are all under the same British ruling, in other words what happened there is what probable happened to us? In the Pre seventy’s Behavior projects and Drug projects were used I believe the red tape that kept us locked up was, they made us stay to be Used as Guinea Pigs? For the government science projects, A System of abuse, who stood a change, let alone children? They made money on us being in a instition but think about it where was thre money really going because it wasn’t being used for us children and who is accountable for that money.what did they really learn from us in their research. that sucks and if that’s right IT’S very sad and it makes me more very angry.and if the abc tv and others who did reports on murders for walston park who did they get their infor from and if they were good reporters they would have look at the whole pituce of where these prisonies where really living and who with. because if they did there homework probley they would had found out that there was no special prison hospital at all because the government say they didn’t have the money. so whos pucket was the money going into and what for.if you know these answers please let me know.look at when australian had no money and when it did and when and what were we doing and what were the government ding with projects with us and what was really going on. i believe that’s where the answers will come from. dig deep not just on the surface.

  94. I was in this Hell Hole from 1959 to 1964 and I too was a sexual victim of L. I have photos also if anyone is interested.

  95. Hello Everyone,

    My husband has been interested in searching for any possible information about adoptions through SCARBA in Bondi during 1957-1958. He was the third child of Dutch immigrants who were finding it tough at the time of his birth in 1957. His mother was ill and required hospitalisation when he was approx 1 month old. The Benevolent Society stepped in and he was taken into temporary care while his mother recovered. He did go back to his mother until he was approx 13 months old. His parents were offered work outside of Sydney and they decided or rather were convinced at the time that they could leave their two youngest in the care of Scarba while they settled into their new jobs and found adequate housing. My husband was a toddler and his brother was nearly 3. Their sister (who was still a dutch national) was 6 at the time.
    When they arrived at the home his brother created so much that they changed their minds about leaving the two boys and instead only left the youngest. From the time line we could put together before his parents died it seems that my husband was only in the home for approx 48 hours before he was adopted. From some of the stories we have heard since, He was lucky. With my help my husband managed to contact his natural family. Before his natural father passed away he told us he and his wife decided they could not do without their youngest child and even though they were not supposed to pick him up for 3-4 weeks, the father went to fetch him approx 6 days later. The Matron Chapman informed him that their youngest had been adopted and there was nothing they could do for them. He was shown paperwork which stated that they had abandoned their child, suggesting they had not seen him for nearly 12 months. He did not understand the Law and went to his former Parish Priest (they were Catholic) who told him there was nothing he could do for him as it was his own stupidity that he lost his child. I believe he was probably told the child was better off. My husbands parents could only tell their daughter that her brother had died and blame themselves for his loss – the grief suffered by his mother was often discussed by both his father and sister. Years later it bothered his sister that there was no grave nor did she remember a funeral. My husband remembered he had a sister and she remembered she had a brother.
    He was adopted by an older couple who appeared to have come to Scarba and the benevolent society as a last resort for adoption. Certainly they were concerned by the people he met and where they came from – I know I got the twenty questions about my heritage before they were satisfied I was okay. They moved to New Guinea for a while and around the state. In his mind he has accepted his adopted parents as his parents but spent years believing he was the unwanted child of a single mother, before we found out the truth. His adoptive parents never discussed his adoption with him. But other members of the family tried to let him know. It led to a sense of isolation for him as he was often encouraged not to speak to certain members of the family for one reason or another. We realised this was a way of avoiding the adoption discussion. During the difficult teenage years my father in law was convinced that my husband would be in jail because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My father in law used this expression, when my husband jokingly said something implying it was okay to steal. I always found it strange when he said that as my husband had never stolen anything and would never steal anything. At that stage I had no idea my husband was adopted. Later I learned that my inlaws believed my husbands family was of the lowest life form, probably spent their lives in and out of prison etc. This was the furthest from the truth. My husbands natural father encouraged his family to be naturalised and joined the Australian Army serving two tours of duty in Vietnam.
    We were only able to trace the information given to the Dept of Family Services that an adoption had taken place and were able to get his original birth certificate which allowed him to find his family.
    We suspect that a firm of solicitors may have been involved and that the records from this time were destroyed. Certainly to achieve the status of abandonment the matron would have had to have kept records indicating when my husband entered Scarba as a baby but suspect the records were either kept open or altered to indicate that he had remained there when he had infact been living with his family. We know for the times his adoptive parents could have easily paid for him as the family business was doing well.
    We would like any information that could help put the pieces back together. Scarba certainly has nothing to lose as both sets of parents are now deceased. My husband was too young to remember too much, except the anxiety of being seperated from his sister.
    We are sure there are other people out there with similar stories. We visited Scarba in the early 1990’s and met with an elderly gentleman who was the gardener when Matron Chapman was in residence. He is probably gone now, but he was surprised at the number of former children who found their way back to Scarba. He was the one who told us the records were destroyed. If anyone has any information I have left my email – anything would be appreciated as anyone who has been through a similar experience would realise it affects not only the individual at the moment but also their whole life there after.

  96. Thanks Sue,
    For generously writing your husband’s history and explaining how is has affected you. I was very moved while reading your account. Thank you for posting it on the National Museum’s site.

    I know that you spoke to the gardener at Scarba House and I’m not suggesting that his information is incorrect but have you tried to contact the Benevolent Society officially?
    Level 1, 188 Oxford Street (PO Box 171), Paddington NSW 2021
    T: +61 2 9339 8000
    F: +61 2 9360 2319

    Let me know if that isn’t helpful.

    Best wishes,

  97. Contact from former attendees of St Josephs Boys’ Orphanage and Clontarf Boys Town, Waterford in Western Australia is welcomed by the Clontarf Old Boys Heritage Committee. At present photographs and personal stories are being collected for the Heritage Trail project run by former Old Boys. For any information or to put your name down for information updates please contact the Clontarf Management Office Locked Bag 5 Bentley DC WA 6893 or email

  98. As a resident of Westbrook, Qld I am home to the most notorious and hated boys home in all of Australia. To think living in this period of time in humanity such horrors could be merited out onto boys – whos only crime was neglect – is just beyond any belief. I have spoken to a number of men that have personally survived this period of our nation and to still hear their brokenness personally affects me. As a resident of Westbrook something should have been done a long time ago. Someone should have stood up for the boys back then, and someone should have stood up even these last few years. I hope those that have survived can forgive our community for its apathy and indifference and find some way to allow our community to be released from this image (the worst of the worst). I am truly sorry. We can only move forward into tomorrow by dealing with our past.

  99. Indeed Clayton,
    For those of us who were never institutionalised, it is heart-wrenching, and also necessary, to come to terms with the historical crimes against children that occurred in the suburbs where we live.

  100. Hello

    I read some of your stories with great sadness as I can relate I am a Forgotten Aust but my real intention is that I am looking for my sister Yvonne Kennedy nik name Chicky DOB 17/11/1952 I believe that she was taken to the Good Shepherd Convent it would have been in early sixties I was wondering if anyone from there remembers her …… thank u for your time This is just another brutality that they were responsible for splitting families & never able to find them again absolute distructive brutes

    Diane nee Eileen Kennedy

  101. https//

  102. Hello, I went to Castledare in the 60’s and I did not experience what a lot of comments have suggested. Maybe things were improved by the time I arrived. I am interested in tracking down some history of the years I was there. If someone out there has some info’ could they please email me at Thank you kindly.

  103. we came over all excited and full of hope in 69. the home killed all that. Tresca was a terrible shock. We had no idea it would be like that. We lived in the middle of a golf course, i collected golf tees and golf balls to get way from everything. I had over 300 golf tees when we left. They made us all do jobs. I had to lay tables and wait on others every morning, like a servant. clean toilets, and dead head bushes of red geraniums. Once a week we were allowed to watch Hawaii five O with a cup of watery hot chocolate and one scotch finger biscuit allowed by the Richmonds. I dont think they liked us very much.

  104. Hi, I am looking for stories of women (girls) who were put in mental institutions for being ‘in moral danger,’ perhaps being sexually active, or getting pregnant. I have found many of these stories but are looking for those who may have been institutionalised for many years.

  105. Thanks Meg,
    Great to hear about your work.

    As I’m sure you’d appreciate, the nature of your study is senstive and some of those who were institutionalised understandably suffer from trauma. It’d be good to know which organisation you represent, that your research has been approved by the relevant ethics committee and how your work will be used and how research subjects might benefit.

    The National Museum needs to know that if any Forgotten Australians meet you through this website that the necessary care will be taken. Some children in Australian institutions were used as research subjects in the past (medical testing for example) and we have to ensure that history does not repeat itself!

    It’s terrific Meg, that there is awareness about this issue and thank you for contributing to the website.

  106. In the 1950s and early 1960s, my dad worked two jobs and my Mum had a job as well as her housewife duties so they could afford to send five of us to schools run by the Sisters of Charity and the Christian Brothers. Much of what was portrayed in “Sunshine and Oranges” happened to us and our parents paid big money for it.

    I don’t think it was right, but it must be looked at in the context of the times.

  107. Thanks John,
    Are the “times” different for those who had no parents to go home to?

    Thoughts from others?

    I respect of course, John, that I didn’t have your experience. I just wonder.

  108. Hi; Meg Vertigon,

    My sister wasnt placed into an adult mental asylum for reasons you have mentioned, being in moral danger, sexually active etc, “quite the opposite.”. However whilst in the asylums rapes on them occured also was placed in moral danger.

    She was placed in the asylum for “adolescent rebellion”. She was standing up to tyrannical authority, being an adsconder running away from abuse.
    F.As were placed in asylums as a form of “punishment “for their behavour as described above, not mental problems.

    I would love to talk to you, please contact Adele for my ph details.

  109. Hi; Adele,

    Forgotten Australians were placed into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment for

    1. “Adolescent rebellion”, so called , to nuns/carers and tyrannical authority
    2. An habitual absconder
    3. One F.As story to small for her age. There probally were other reasons too.

    Adolescent rebellion is not a” disease’?? at all. When you are being abused and attacked and it hurts you; and you can get away from your attackers, that is perfectly normal , not abnormal! But Psychiatrist would see this as another “Cash Cow ” and have the appropiate drug for this “Problem” and make money [as usual ] from it all, as is their habit.

    Placing children into those asylums for the above” reasons” and diagnonised by Psychiatrists for these problems ,was just another scam , like the one they used on the Duplessis Orphans over in Canada in the 40s -60s where they changed thousands of perfectly fit mentally Orphans into “Mentally Deficientally people” with the stroke of a pen, as they then would get 3 times the money for looking after them this way.
    The Psychiatrists also had an endless supply of “Guinea Pigs” to experiment on too which is also well documented.
    The Government and the Catholic Church were fully aware and involved in this corruption together, the Catholic Church made over $70 MILLION DOLLARS from this scam! For anyone to believe that this didnt happen in Australia is very naieve indeed in my opion.

    Psychiatrist gave electric shock treatment for this so called Rebellion. That is not a medical reason to give electric shock treatment. Giving electric shock treatment for rebellion in my opion was an elecellent excuse to use those children as gunnie pigs for psychiatrists to practise their experiments and so what if any of them died from their failed experiements. Adolf Hitler did the same.
    Rebellion is not a medical desease, it is a human reaction responding to their abusers just as you would if some one abused YOU , you too would respond in rebellion to them.

    Orphanages/instirutions inheritated traumatized children that had broken hearts. The skill required to assist traumatized children, is love compassion understanding, nurture their ability to their full potential, respecting their indivuality with human rights treat them as you would your own with boundries, teach them manners respect teaching their purpose in society and help them academically for them to succeed in life as you would for your own child.

    Executing those skills, children would respond accordingly. Dish out bullyness, children will runway or stand up to their attackers thats human nature. Children respond in the form through their behaviour, my sister did, but sadly she was missunderstood and punished in a terrible manner with electric shock treatment.

  110. Hi Anne,
    You could try CBERS Consultancy which provides services for former residents of Christian Brothers institutions, including assistance with family tracing:

    Their free call phone number is: 1800 621 805

    Best wishes,

  111. I am writing a family history – I believe that 2 boys, James Henry Bourne (Jimmy) and Joseph Charles Bourne (Joe) were living at the Clontarf orphanage about 1913. Their father Charles died in February 1913 and their mother died in February 1915. I am wanting to know how I would find out if they were there, who put them into care and for how long.
    Anne Duncan

  112. Hi: F.As,

    I congratulate those Forgotten Australians that had the intelligence and the spunk who stood up to tyrannical authority and for being in a systems of abuse, someone had to. I throughly understand why they became abconders, it certainly took guts.
    If anyone in society today dragged children by the hair, when vomiting their food force feed the remaining food into their mouths like the nuns did. Shoving them into the dungeon where it was pitch black no lighting giving them bread and water telling them they were the devil and darkness became their friend, they would be charged for assulting their children.

    S.C. Department placed them into an adult mental asylum for rebellion /bad behaviour. The cure for rebellion, electric shock treatment, drugged worse than zombies and whilst in an unconscious state rapes occured with some and no one to help them.
    I have read many F.As storys on this site who found it traumatizing being in an institution/orphanage, but for some it didnt bother them.

  113. Re Goulburn orphanages.
    There were more than two kids homes in Goulburn.
    The one pictured is the St John’s Boys Home on the Mundy St hill between Auburn and Bourke Sts.
    One street furner South was the infamous Salvation Army Gill Memorial Boys.
    The St Joseph’s Girl’s home was out near Kenmore Psychiatric Hospital off Taralga Rd just on the northern side of the railway level crossing.
    There was also a Church of England girls home on Cowper St just north of Verner St and I believe there were a couple of other smaller homes in town.
    Also the Catholic high schools once had boarding facilities and while not orphanages some kids were virtually dumped there by parents who did not want to have the kids at home.
    There was also the boarding school, Argyle Presbyterian Ladies College, which is now the Goulburn Campus of Illawarra TAFE.

  114. I was bashed by a brother that was moved to clontarf after br d left in the late 70s And v. took over, i cant even rember what years i was there but i was there the year elvis died… Then b. came from casledare(we were told) and that ended the fun in r’s doorm as we got moved into b’s doorm and be came HIS toys. Were are you now b. ? i want to have a little chat with you. ! . so many boys new he was suss but only some saw with there eyes what happend… and not being sexualy aware we thought that some boys were sooks or home sick, Till it happend to you !
    we ate crap food incl powderd eggs while working on a money making chicken farm gathering eggs for them to sell ? brother v. was a pig and i hope his god fryed him ! I saw him bash so many boys, And that strap i rember so so well but it was black not brown same big yellow stitching.. the boys said there were a few stashed around the school by the brothers… I had to pay every time i broke the law.. Why do the true skum of the earth get away with changing the course of my life, taking my inosence, and damaging my spine with there wepon of choice…

    “I will allways hate those pigs”

    sorry about the spelling but they were supost to teach us too ?

    Darryl Adamson

  115. hello my name is michael tuttass i was in allambie from 18/8 1972 to the 2/9 1974 i was going to ask if there were any children that were there at the same time i was thankyou very much from michael

  116. What have parliaments The Courier Mail 25/3/10 page 24 by Jason Tin, State sorry for pain and suffering? Speaking at an official ceremony, Minister for Community & Housing Karen Struthers said the state government heard countless stories of physical, sexual and psychological abuse. For many, these placements were not on the basis of a diagnosis of underlying psychiatric illness, but as a form of “punishment” for misbehavior she said. Aid about all of this:
    How cold can you be? That sucks. What is running this country not how? Are they human? Or what.
    But I Rhonda Trivett say: come on be real does that mean murdering, raping, bashing, torching and tormenting and stabbing us children with pocket knives. Did we really deserve that for punishment?…….Get real. Wake up.
    After reading that, We would be better off with Godzilla running our country than what we got with some of our heads and yes you too Mrs Stuthers.

  117. Hi, F.As,

    Does anyone know if convicted pedophiles Dennis Ferguson and Robert Fardon were products of orphanages/institutions.? and wonder if they were molested as a children, as this surfaces later on in life and continues on in their lives. They have allowed somthing in their mind like pornography and being molested as a child they would think thats its ok.

    Scientist Alfred Kinsey the father of the sexual Revolution was a sadomasochistic pederast who paid pedophiles to molest thousands of children as young as 2 months. His associate Wardell. B. Pomeroy, who co- authored Sexual Behavior in the Human Male said Kinsey would of done business with the devil if it helped the research. It was promoted the idea of boys having sex with animals such as a dog, horse or a bull and …Quote “incest between adults and younger children can prove to be satisfing and and enriching experience.End of Quote .

    Kinseys philophisy would of been very popular, perhaps priests in orphanages/institutions may of been influenced by Kinseys teachings. If a scientist can say its ok to molest children, that gives a green light for pedophiles to commit crimes with children. Kinseys teaching no doubt influenced society, perhaps this is why the homosexual act is justified, if it feels good then its ok do it. Whats in the head brings out in action.

    We need examples in Government with high moral values to protect the Nations minds from degenercy.

  118. John Foly, Your mum and dad were robed they would had been better of if they had sent you to a State school. John nothing of those times was normal due to the fact it was hiden from the general public. The Welfare laws were there for them to obey, they the CHRISTEN BROTHERS chose to ignore them. Many of the boys in my time experienced sexual abuse, witch is not normal in any time. Every morning children were paraded on to the stage and floged in front of the whole assembly inducing fear in to all the children present. The punishment was given fore the most trivial offensive real or imagined. Children were quiet often punced to the ground and in some cases tumped on. One CHRISTEN BROTHER would turn children upside down and ram their heads in to concret, he went on to manage Castledare in the nine sixties. It dose matter what year look you into the Clontarf history or who you talk to they will tell you the same stories. I have been talking to ex inmates since the nineteen sixties some who were at Clontarf during the great depression, and in other times. Some have been successful and others not so successful with the lives. All identify with the same experiences and all name the same abuses. One very notorious abuser 0f earlier times was a BROTHER FRANCIS PAUL KEANY who in those times managed both Clontarf and Bindoon. The other Brother was the folger who managed Clontarf in ninefifties when i was there his name was Bruno Doyle many of us will remember this brute. Some blind to the truth will see him in a different light. Michael O., D

  119. Mark you may want to study up the Miniture railway line built at Castledare pacted with asbestosis tailings. The line was built by the small children at the home, probley at about the time you were there. Many of the children report of been made to carry the asbestosis dust in their shirt tailings to whare it was dumped for packing. Mark the WA Asbestosis Association visited Casteldare on our repquest about two decades ago and found asbestosis dust on the surfacess of the lawns. It is anyone guess as to how many of the public who visited Castledare on the field days will be afected. When you were at Castledare you would have known a Brother F. who was runing the place. Brother F. when he was at Clontarf had a nasty habit of turning children upside down and raming their heads into the concrete. I know this to be true because i was their to witness one of these avents. Mark he may in your time at Castledare had melowed, but i doubt it, does leopard change its spots. Mark Castledare like Clontarf were very large places you would never had been in the to witness every that hapened while you were there. However you may not want to admited to the things you did see which you would have seen as normal in those times. Michael O,D.

  120. My brother Stephen and I were originally placed in Castledare WA for a short term while our mum recovered after the birth of our younger sister. We were placed there some time in 1950, because this was the year our sister was born.
    Early 1951 we were moved to Clontarf. I think this was because my brother would turn 6 that year and we were both moved to keep us together.
    I don’t very many clear recollections of this time and I know we had moved back to our parents before I turned 4 early in 1951. It’s just that I sometimes awake with memories of some form of abuse and I’m fairly sure this was in the short term of our stay.
    I pity those boys that did not have a home to go back to.

  121. Christine Waite. You ask about Dennis Ferguson . Yes Dennis was a victim of sexual abuse as a child . Many times as a child he put his hand up asking for help . Nobody came to his assistance until he was finally herd . Those that put out a hand of friendship were a group of paedophiles. How ironic !!! The Church ans State failed to take seriously sexual abuse as it was rife in their own ranks .

  122. To Oliver Cosgrove….Hey ‘twist’, good to know you’re still alive and kicking. We’re old men now, but I still have the memories. Visited “Clonnie” back in ’90, “PLOD” was still there, living in the old priest’s quarters..the rest of the place was a mess..Then again, I’m not more little ‘slaves’ to keep it pristine. Wishing you Good Health and Happiness…Kingy.

  123. It is so important to remember the horrible life in orphanages so now, we can better appreciate the care and effort to connect orphans with loving parents.

  124. i was a ward at renwick from 1973 untill 1978 i was in turner cottage, we where not well treat by the docs workers at any time many of us sufferd as wards.

    i am looking for people that i knew while i was a ward at renwick mittagong, i am married now and have been with my wife of 25 years having 14 kids, but i cant for get being a ward and i miss all the mates i made while i was at renwick , tuner cottage and others at renwick.

    i would like to meet ex wards if they remember me and talk about the days we where wards.

    thank you RUSSELL SMULDERS

  125. This photos look as though they are those used in promotional materials at the time. They look fake and very misleading.

  126. You’re right of course Lorraine.

    We cannot assume that that historical photographs of Children’s Homes provide a true indication of the living conditions. It is fair to interpret many of these photographs as “publicity” material.

    It’s interesting to see the difference when children had access to a camera. For example, the photographs, on this website, that Rupert Hewison and Michael O’Donoghue took when they were children provide a priceless, alternative historical record.

  127. Hello FAs

    I’m an ex-Ward from Perth WA. I was kept in the following institutions from 1972 – 1984: McCall, Bridgewater, Walcott, Longmore, Hillston, Riverbank and Clontarf. I would like to hear from other ex-Wards from these same institutions.

    I am concerned that the scope of the FA project is focused if not biased towards religious institutions and Child Migrants, thus submerging the culpability of statutory ‘homes’ in abusing children.

  128. Lorraine, There is nothing missleading or fake about the photographs which myself and others had taken while residing at Catholic institutions. There were much more potent photographs sent to lawers and to the European Court Of human Rigths. If you want to see fake photos you will need to get hold of a booklet written by the Christain brothers public relations machine. The book called the Scheme shows well dresed boys, and yachts on the river. Ihave in my time never seen yachts that far up the river or have seen so well dresed boys, unless there were people around or the children were going out to visit families. Lorraine i hope this clears up any missunderstanding. Michael o’ Donoghue.

  129. Re: Michael O’ Donoghue dated 11/8/11, PHOTRAGPHS TAKEN IN ORPHANAGES

    I recall when photographers comming in to the orphanage to take photos of us children.

    1. We were told how to pose and smile for the photos which all did, but they didnt know of the trauma children went through behind the smiles.
    2. There were many boys sodomized by the priests and 5/6 yr girls vaginas fiddled with.
    3. None of the photgraphters new how psychologicialy tormented children were in side, and how we were that hungry when we went to school we ate food from school rubbish bins.
    4. Nuns shoving you in the pitch black dungeon giving you bread and water telling you are the devil.
    5. When vomiting bread soaked with milk that had no sugar, nuns forced fed the remaining food into you then caned for performing.
    6. Drugged for running away.
    7. We submitted unto their authority with fear and tremberling that your mind went blank and you would freeze and clamp up.
    8. Very lonely place
    9. Caned for trivial things
    10. Integellant girls that had the guts to stand up to nuns/tryannical authority eventually were placed into an adult asylum as a form of PUNISHMENT for rebellion to their tryannical authority, plus being an absconder.
    11. In the asylum, F.As were raped, tortured with electric shock treatment placed in straight jackets, and their were deaths that occured in the asylum.

    Some Forgotten Australians didnt suffer in orphanages, but, many did and its obvious from what these say the ones that didnt; and Im sad for the ones that died resulting from being in the orphanage and the Mental Hospitals also from all of the abuse and medical experiments they endured which in many cases resulted in them taking their lives to end the pain they were in.
    All that glitters isnt gold … Shakespers. or not all of the children who smiled for photographs were happy you know.

  130. Re, Christine Waite. Much of what you have written matches up with the same experiences as ours. Back in the old institution under the nuns we were also given stewed bread and milk. We ate it only because there was no other food. The time was just after the war, when many of us were still in England. There were at times no food at all, and there was still rationing. I would eat my first peace of meat when i came out to Australia. The institution was brutal and like myself and other children we would suffer enormously. Beatings were given every morinng for weting the bed. No matter how hard i tried i could not stop weting the bed. I said to this mad nun who used to do the beatings one morning that my hands were swollen from the constant beatings, she then to cain me on the wrist. It never occured to these nuns that we would wet our beds just so we could be beaten, so much for intelgence. In this institution i would experence rexual abuse from staff at the age of four or five. I know that other children were also abused in the same way. Their was no place to hide nor was there anyone who you could conplain to. In ninety fifty i ran away to look for my mother. WHEN did not find her i ended up on the treets of Shouth Hampton. My time on the streets lasted for around fourteen months untill i was caught and taken down to London. The institution in which they placed me had very high walls and heavy large doors. The children in this place were very sick i still remember their constant crying and their rocking themseves backwards and fordwards. every thing inside me just died. Some months later i was taken back to the old institution, whear i would be removed and sent out to Australia. I suvived on the streets by being in a gang and stealing food from the shops. The older boys looked after me as i could not run very fast because of the injuries i sustained in the old home. I have found my mother in New York after many years of searching and after sixty five we will be reunited in three weeks. Christine i know of other children who were deported out here were not so lucky. One boy now a man was deported back to England. Michael O’ Rooke was deported and was landed at the Heathrow Airport, only with the clothes on his back and no money. When he was picked up by the police he told his story about how he was deported out to Australia as a child. The ploice would not belive his story and took to a mental institution whare he remained for decades untill the scandals were exposed. It has been found now their was nothing wrong with Michael and all that was needed was a little of care. Michael O’ Rooke was at Clontraf with me. Does anybody know why Michael was deported back to England in the first place. Michael O’ Donoghue.

  131. My brother Max & I were in the “War Memorial” home, one of the homes that made up “Burnside Homes for Children” Sydney, N.S.W. 1959-1965….What I have to say is what I want to say & has no imput from my brother Max whatsoever……My memories of these times are mixed with sadness,anger,frustration and feelings of desertion & hopelessness. During my time in War Memorial, I made many friends, unfortunately I have lost contact with all of them since my release. During my time there I was subjected to various forms of sexual abuse, & lost count of the beatings that were handed out whenever Masters or Matrons felt the urge to inflict pain on the nearest kid, for the most trivial of reasons…Yes, I have no fond memories of my time there at all, I have deep emotional scars that have remained with me into my fifties & I know will stay with me forever, In the words of Johnny Cash “Burnside [sic] I hate every inch of you, you’ve scarred me through & through” I sincerely hope that the people responsible for my upbringing during these times burn in hell for eternity…no names…they know who I am talking about….so does god..they cannot hide anymore.

  132. Thanks Frank,
    I appreciate your feedback.

    The exhibition “Inside: Life in Children’s Homes”, open to the public at the National Museum in Canberra from 16 November 2011, will include objects and stories from those who were sent to State Homes.

    Nevertheless, Frank, if there is anything that you think that is missing on this website please feel free to let me know. Not that I expect you to do my work for me but I will gladly follow up your suggestions!

    Thanks again.

  133. To Dr, Jay Arthur. The photo you sent me in an email is that of Brother Murphy. The scene is a dormitory is at the orphange of Castledare. Adele could you pass this information to Jay. The tape in witch i sent you he identifies himself. I hope this settles the matter, and your enqiries. Michael o’ Donoghue.

  134. Will do Michael,
    Many thanks and I’ll see about uploading the photo onto this website so everyone can be included in our chat about this.

    Thanks again Michael.

  135. I was made a ward of the state (W.A) in 1962 because BOTH my parents worked and the law said I was neglected. I’ve been in Receiving Home, Mt Lawley a few times and Home of the Good Shepherd twice. I was a ward between ages 14-18 and at one stage was sent away to a live in job. I had a choice, to go to Bindoon Boys Town (14yr old girl at the time) or the job at Yanchep, which was miles away in the bush back then. I think I was supposed to have been fostered by those people when I look back, they had four daughters around my age. I didn’t get to sleep in the main building (guest lodge) I had a room made out of asbestos a five minute walk through the bush away from any lights, buildings etc. 1 bed, 1 wardrobe, no heating or cooling, no radio or t.v. I worked from 6am till midnight EVERY day including weekends and was paid the equivalent of $5 per week minus board and lodging which worked out to exactly half. My probation officer NEVER visited me to see how I was doing. The man of the house was a wife beater and I wasn’t permitted to socialize with his daughters. We used to sneak away though sometimes. The chef at the lodge was later imprisoned for raping under age girls but I never reported because I was scared I’d get into more trouble. I ran away after just over a year and was put back in Walcott St. later to be transfered to the Convent. I was in the convent when President Kennedy was assassinated. I’d love to catch up with any girls (women) who were in either place during the same time as me. 1962-1966.

  136. Sue,
    I am so sorry – sorry, not only that you were made a ward of the state for such an inappropriate reason but further, that you were fostered into an abusive situation.

    I know that ‘sorry’ isn’t enough. I do, nevertheless, acknowledge the absurdity and cruelty of child welfare policy at the time and the neglect in assessing care – a challenge, indeed, for all who form government policy today and manage associated programmes. ‘Little consolation for you Sue, of course.

    I sincerely hope that you can connect with former friends from the institutions were you were, wrongly, sent and thanks, too, for your courage in letting the National Museum know what you experienced.

    Thanks Sue.

  137. St V of south melbourne under brother m. what a party 1962
    us altar-boys were the pick of the crop …. 80656

  138. Hi…My mother dumped me and my 2 younger brothers at kensington police station in 1976. My dad was in jail at the time and she was a mum that was 19 with 3 children and she couldnt cope. We were made wards of the state and put in ALLAMBIE. I was 4 and my 2 younger brothers were 3 and 18 months old. I was only in ALLAMBIE for a year before we were fostered out but it still left its scars. I never understood why i seemed to be getting needles all the time…i remember trying to hide so i didnt have to get the needle, only to be tied down and jabbed…now i know that it was for medical reasons..i just dont know which ones? I used to be locked up in the cupboard all the time when i was “naughty” as well as the strap or cane…now i cant stand being pinned down and am claustraphobic from being locked in small dark places. I remember sneaking out to see my brothers,they were in a different part altogether and at night i would sneak out run across and try to be with my brothers especially my youngest as i was like a mum to him even though i was only 4. I was always caught,always in trouble. When we did see each other we were always on leads…like animals. They thought we were unruly and wanted to put us in a mental assylum…we just wanted our mum and dad. I have no fond memories and actually moved into a foster home on my fifth birthday with a couple that had been working at allambie…i still wet the bed until i was 8 though, they werent all they were meant to be….but i would like to talk to other people to that were in there 76-77…..or around that time so that maybe we could talk. Thanks.

  139. Just wondering if the museum has the need for an old cookbook I stumbled across from Kildonan Presbyterian Children’s home? It is falling apart but it tells a story. Email me if this item is needed. Thanks, Asta

  140. Hello all

    I am new to this site so please forgive me if I make mistakes, I just wanted the users of the site to know that my story “Belonging to the State” is obviously not finished & may take some time to finish as there is a lot to tell but I have some other poems that I will send onto Adele Anyway God Bless All & keep you all safe

    Regards Diane Mancuso/nee Eileen Kennedy

  141. Thanks Diane,
    It is NOT an apology situation. In fact it is the National Museum who thanks you.
    This is not school nor are we running a literature course or a spelling test (not that there is anything wrong with any of those activities).

    This website is about social history – a LIVING history, what’s more. What a privilege for the National Museum that you would send us your personal history Diane. The thing is too, that emotion is truth, not only the facts of history. It is that emotion that you convey so well Diane as well as the episodes that accompanied and triggered those feelings.

    You have nothing to apologise for – not then and not now.

    Thank you for your wonderful writing.

    Best wishes.

  142. Adele , Yes its O.K. to put my last email I sent onto this sight .There are sentence structure problems and spelling mistakes in the writing of my thoughts . If a proper education was available than maybe a lot of things would be different. You may want to leave it as is to show what does hold many FAs back who have only reached 3-4 grade schooling and teachers today who are teaching our children and grandchildren are most likely have the child in there class room suffering from “Generational Load ” problems . This is the behaviour problems many teachers blame on the child and take a negative and judgmental attitude when they meet the parent . Their is a lot of misundersting in Health, Education,Spiritual and Justice problems raging out of control in this Country . I have yet had any non believers in any presentations that I have done to Lions Clubs ,Mens Sheds ,CWA and may other organisations Our State and Church Leaders are the only ones struggling to get a grip and be assertive when we need action they don’t seem to understand that the general public have a conscience and accept our story and our grievances to the MAX .

  143. Thanks Lawrie,
    Yes, our policy is not to correct spelling and grammar unless it assists webiste visitors to understand the contributor’s point or unless the contributor asks me to make corrections.

    Our reasons are just as you explain – so that others understand how many Forgotten Australians were denied an education either though slave labour or because traunamtic experiences made it difficult for them to concentrate in school.

    Also, contributors express themselves so well – why sanitise their poetic expression?

    And I’ve posted your comment above. Thanks for your permission Lawrie and thanks for your insightful participation in this website.

  144. There are interesting times coming for FAs starting with those in NSW . Our first budget will be handed down today by our new (improved) understanding of the plight of FAs in our state. I wonder if a injection of funds will be given to our cause or will all the effort given by hundreds of FAs will again be down graded to a BIG yawn and our new government will have mist the opportunity to give relief to those FAs still struggling with mental ,physical ,emotional and spiritual health ,

    More than 8000 FAs have now been identified mostly in NSW and QLD ..If our Government Departments were truly on the ball and not just gathering information they would identify that 1000’s of FAs are living in squalor .We have found that a large mistrust and feelings of been let down again by these FAs is mounting even to greater heights than ever before .There are more FAs been damaged than there are those been helped at this time because most FAs plight has been ignored when they put out their hand up for someone to grab and to hold rather than turn away and ignore or are told you don’t qualify because of this or that reason .It will go down in history that FAs in this country have been largely ignored and the present Providers who are past providers are guilty in putting out FAs back into the cold and its up to the individual FAs to survive in the best way they can because our Governments are too busy blaming each other and our very wealthy past providers would rather ha!
    ng to their fortune that they amassed while children were a means and not to worry about FAs welfare past and present –WHEN WILL IT ALL CHANGE —When there is a change in attitude ????????????????????????.

  145. The government secrecy and why. The whole picture the inhumane injustice of children. What kind of war will eventuate from the outcry of the public? Why won’t the government come clean?
    That government knew that they had to do same thing about the forgotten children. ok. But just saying sorry is an empty word anyone can say there sorry and not mean it. They need to prove the word sorry is genuine in the form of free education in certificates courses so we can get jobs. Seeing they deprived us of no education and compensation. Us children were there as a form of punishment for being absconders adolescent rebellion, bed wetter, too short for one’s age, stealing a push bike while running away, not being able to read, just children with problems none psychiatry problems just lock them up. But why put murders in with children that they couldn’t handle in jail and real out of control mentally sick adults. Where was the sense in all of that? Was the government just trying to get away with spending money for children that needed help? Were they saving money on nurses not having physiatrist training were they saving money on putting us altogether and were they saving money on no education for us and were they saving money on killing their mistakes and were they saving money because they were so corrupt? Us children paid for them saving money and for their mistakes. But now all that saving should go to help us to get and live a better life so that we can get on with life and go forward. But how can we if they won’t help. But Murder raping and bashing etc. is not a form of punishment for children, it’s an inhuman crime. The government control us like dirt and why because we were just children without a voice. (Even the traumatism horrific that children went through) we were the mentally healthy children that the state children’s department placed us children into the adult criminally mental insane asylums. How could they do that, how low? There needs to be justice. There would be if the government wasn’t still covering it up. Some were murdered in front of my eyes with acts of cannibalism. That was lots of criminal offence, and what they did was crimes after crimes. If they were found out back in them days, It would bring departments down one by one. And was worse than bringing the British children into Australia. And was worse than what children went through as orphans. We in the mental asylums went through 100 times worse than what others went through in orphanages. In the asylums children were raped bashed dragged worse than zombies and whilst unconscious from the drugs sexual things were performed on some children many were given multiple electric shock treatment a eye witness said 6 girls went in only 3 returned. Many were threatened to have shock treatment some locked in their rooms for days some month and a bit with no food and little water.

    For crimes committed against children under the governments care and still now the government will refuse to speak about it to the public and refuse to compensate but they will say sorry. That really beats me. No wonder the state children’s department changed their name to the department of community services As well as there polices. When it comes to the public’s attention there will possible be a war break out. The public would be horrified to discover what has gone on in the past. The public would be discussed with the S C department and other departments especially the government officials and the C E O s.
    Really what the public will think, say, do and how far will some of them go with all of this. It could be bloody, when people find out that children that they couldn’t find and were lied too and are dead and how.
    Bruce and dense mourcombie ambassadors of child protection I feel so sad and sorry for what happened to their child. They do a great job and will save another child’s life. The government funded them to go around schools and teach children about danger which is a wonderful thing. But the government won’t acknowledge the child abuse that went on with us the forgotten Australians place in a adult asylum for the mentally criminally insane living with murders as young as 12 years and under. What were they thinking of to do that. There is not even a little bit of since in any of this.
    What have we forgotten Australia’s really got. There’s no justice no real counseling for the real bad cases of complexed post dramatic stress, no free certificate courses, or compensation. It’s wrong.
    No experts to ring after hours when my completed post dramatic stress known as shell shock in the war days is happening. And being me no social workers when I need one because they say I don’t need a doctor or anything because I don’t have a mental sickness problem and I have rehabilitative myself and that’s ok but sometimes I would like a little help while trying to live a ok life and learn. I don’t see life like others maybe because I’m been hurt too much.
    There’s a safe house for wife’s who get based from their husbands or boyfriends there centers for drug and alcoholics to go but what have we got. Okay we can on a Tuesday go to lotus place and get a free feed and mingle with other people that are forgotten Australians. We can talk to the experts and they can tell us where to go. But that’s about all. There is counseling over the phone or at their office. But that’s not enough. In a way for me, it’s great not being on tablets and not being under the mental health but on the other hand sometimes it’s really hard for me to cope but I do because I have too. But there’s no one at night when it hits me hard. I relive it, I feel it, I see it, and sometimes it makes me go crazy that’s when I want to died but I don’t but one day I’ll probably go over the edge. But that’s life.

    The government made me this way. I just hope the government helps us in justice, free life schooling and certifies courses and compensation and a proper sorry in writing to me for what they did to me and my poor dead friends just numbers on their graves. While I and others are still alive. Living in the 1970s for me was like living under the Nazi with Adolf Hitler there was a war in itself where there’s was cannibalism murder rape bashings being zapped with etc. drugged and put in straight jackets and doing behavioral and drug experiments on us children just gunny pigs and not knowing who was going to be murder next. The only difference was we weren’t gassed or shot. But children still got murdered in the maddest that could have been prevented if the departments and government did the right thing in the first place in Australia.

  146. Hi: Rhondah Trivett,

    The most disturbing thing with your testomony, is the fact no MPs and appropiate CEOs [the ones above Adele] search you out to discuss what you went through and MPs making sure Police investigate the murders that you wittnessed in the asylum and MPs providing you with a Solicitor for you and others to be compensated.

    The million dollar question, how come the State Childrens Department placed you and many other state ward children into adult asylums where the crinimal insane were housed when there was nothing wrong with them mentally.?
    In my opion, I consider it crinimal abuse by the S.C.Department for allowing it. Why the silence with MPS and some CEOs in the Department of Community Services, dont they believe it happened, perhaps they have a chip on their shoulders elevated above everyone else and stiff crap about what happened to those children in their care and it looks to me perhaps some may view children as scum which explains why nothing is done.

    Rhonda do you give me permission to tell your story to journlists?

  147. My name is Gwen Robinson preferably known as Sandra and I am going to write a little about the Shock Treatment that I seen given to patients at Wolston Park Mental Hospital also known as Goodna Mental Hospital. First I will tell you a little about myself and how I got there. I was put in there for being an absconder, better known as an habitual run-away, and not because there was anything mentally wrong with me which was proven by the I.Q. test that I did there and it came out as above average. I had the brains to be an accountant, which is what I wanted to be, but I was never given the education to follow that profession. There is a letter in my files written by a doctor to the Childrens Department stating that Wolston Park was non-theraputic to me and I should be out in a hostel and doing a business course. Needless to say that never happened and the Childrens Department just kept me there to be kept drugged up. We were given a drug called peraldahyde and it had to be given in a glass vial as it melted plastic. The mind shudders as to what it has done to my body being given to me as a young teenager. We were also given other mind altering drugs which kept us immobilised, which led to some of us wetting or dirtying ourselves as we could not move. It also left the staff free range to do whatever they wanted when we were in this state. I have cigarette burns on my arms from the staff and other scars. I absconded from Tufnell Home and ended up in The Good Shepherd at Mitchelton and then I got out of there and was sent to Karalla House. I never got out of there but was locked up for more than a month in solitary confinement and when we got out of these rooms we came out as mad as hell and caused trouble and then this led me to be put in the Mental Hospital as it was the most secure place in Q.L.D. to keep me. I got out of there and was caught months later and was locked in a room for 2 weeks for the male staff to have access to as this was my punishment. I was also told at this time that if I escaped again that there was a lot of suicides in the Bremmer River. I believed them as I thought if you can lock me up with the Criminally Insane, and no one is doing anything about it, then you could do exactly as you pleased. Needless to say that I did escape from there one more time and was never caught, but I lived a life of being someone else as I thought I would be murdered. If anyone is interested I could explain that to them. In my mind I have never deserved any of this treatment as my only crime was being an orphan and being severly bashed at home and sometimes so bad that the school took me to the Hospital as I had blood and welts all over my body.

    I cannot remember the number of the Ward that I was in when I witnessed the horror of seeing people being strapped down for shock treatment and also seeing them come out of the room when it was done.I am sitting here writing this with tears in my eyes as the pure horror of what these people went through comes back to me. It was one of the cruelist things that I have ever witnessed. The patients would fight the staff and come and hide behind other people, such as myself, and beg us to help and protect them. There was nothing I could do and they would be dragged away by staff and they would be begging and pleading to the staff not to do this to them. When they came out of the rooms after Shock Treatment they would be left lying on the beds and this is when I seen male staff interferring and doing sexual things to some of the patients while they were unconscious. Even today thinking about it makes my stomach heave. I have always been quite a strong person and have had a strong sense of survival, but what I seen in this place and also had done to me has had the worst effect on me even these many years later. Sometimes for days and even weeks these patients who had Shock Treatment would walk around in a daze with strange eyes, like they couldn’t focus, and also loss of memory. They were forever asking others what their names were and where they were. Another thing is that they were very skiddish as hiding behind other patients, such as myself, so as not to be noticed by staff and if staff came towards some it was like they were frozen with fear and I witnessed some patients just pass out with this fear and some of the staff thought this was quite funny. My heart broke for these defenseless people and still does today. Everyone dreaded Shock Treatment days but some of the staff loved it.

    The Government in Q.L.D. will not compensate any of us who were children placed in Adult Institutions or who were locked up with the Criminally Insane. They keep saying that the Redress Scheme has closed but they fail to realise is that these Mental Institutions were not covered by the Redress Scheme as it only covered places in the Terms of Reference for the Forde Inquiry and this Forde Inquiry did not let us speak of these Mental Institutions and we were told that they would never be included as it was a seperate issue. None of us have ever found a lawyer who is smart enough or has the fight to take on the Government or Health Department on this issue. Even the legal part of the Senate Inquiry says we should be looked at again for compensation as it was wrong that we were excluded as we were put there by the Childrens Department.

  148. Christine Waite
    hello yes you got my permission to tell TV journalist mps ect
    please tell the world and anybody that will listen and help with our fight for justice and making the wrongs right. i would life them to ring me swell. now i can talk about these things i am going to the police but what they do well is your guess.

  149. To Rhonda Tibett and Christine Waite , could you email me ,my address I will ask Adele to pass it on .I may have something for you both, that may help Thanks Lawrie

  150. Y
    Dear Adele,
    On the 15th September 2011, Minister for Maroubra, Mr Michael Dalry, spoke in the parliament on my behalf and that of the Forgotten Australians. The document can be found on the NSW GOV Hansard record for that date. He was wonderful and quoted the Senate Committees report of 2004. He wants to debate the matter in the house. Please send this on to all who are interested. The only one to take it on, a good man is Michael Daley.
    Perhaps they will remember to rember the Forgotten Australians!!!!!!!! Regards Maureen

  151. Everyone go and educate your local member. The more the politicians know about us and who we are the better understanding they will have. Please if you can not get an appointment write them a letter asking for their support in the upcoming debate in State Parliament. If you want the Senate Committees report to finally be read by the State Parliament go and see the pollie, write to him, make him remember the Apology. We can all help each other or we can do nothing, it is up to us all to have a go. Pass this around to every NSW F>A> you know.

  152. just for the record. my admiration for rhonda knows no bounds. really !! dreadful tragedy all round. ian.

  153. Thank for the reply Ian. For all of the carry on that the pollies staged I doubt that they saw nothing but budgets before their eyes and this decision not to compensate the FA was only a budgetry matter. Please include Michael Daley MP on your writing list. He has stuck his neck out for us all. From what I have been able to ascertain, the pollies really have no idea what we are all disturbed about, but then it did not have the transparency about it that it has today. I found that, after speaking with most sitting pollies, they have no idea what happened to us at the hands of former govs.. We know that they were not born in the same era as us and so to keep it simple seems to be the best approach, Michael Daley was not even born when my trauma began and I do not blame him or his colleagues for this. I just want them to fix it before I pass. If Michael can successfully debate the Senate Committees report we have taken a step forward toogether. I have been emotional, no response, Ihave been angry, no response, I put forward points of law, no response but I have had response by getting to know my MP and he me. I have found the old adage of it is not who you are but who you know to be correct so in March this year I volunteered to work for the local member. Nothing sugnificant, letter box drops and hand outs at the pre polling booth. This allowed me to become more personable to the local pollies, this is where I found a mouth to speak for us. All emotion, even anger has subsided a little because it was the then govs. legacy and now we have an opportunity to start righting those hideous acts that were thrust upon us. Go gentlely amid the haste Ian, I feel your frustration, I admire your fighting spirit but we can do more for ourselves than repeating the cycle of pain.

  154. Maureen Redding ,you are spot on with your remarks on what we can do .Our local polies need to know about the FAs history . This is not only a country wide and state issue its a local one as well .Make this point to your local member and you will more likely to to receive a positive reaction

  155. Thanks Lawrie. If we all work together we will get through this. I do not know how to reach the NSW people and hopefully it will be by word of mouth. We need ground swell to keep our plight to the fore in the pollies minds. If you possibly can spread the word please do it. We have an in after all this time and trust me when I say that I will never ever give up hope I really mean it but I am a lone activist because I do not seem to fit the mould of the groups that represent us. I work hard for us all. Everyone suffered, we all know that, now we have to be mature enough to travel the next road together and support Michael Daley, educate our local pollies (you are right) and they will support Michael Daley but it is imperative we all do our bit . Thank you Adele for listing the Report on the Website. Lets all walk together on this ne people, there is hope.

  156. The site of the former Ballarat Orphanage has been sold to private developers who plan to build and sell houses and units for a handsome profit. Heritage Victoria refused to list the site to protect the remaining buildings because, they said, it was of local interest only and because the original (1865) building had been demolished.

    They are wrong about the local interest only claim. The Orphanage took in children including members of the Stolen Generation, from all parts of Victoria and former residents now live in all parts of Australia and overseas.

    They are wrong about the intactness issue. Their argument is crude: because something has been demolished, we can’t save anything. Yet there is an intact school, an intact toddler’s block, an intact gymnasium, an intact sloyd room (woodwork), etc. There is plenty to show how ideas about out-of-home care changed over the decades.

    But heritage is not just about buildings. Heritage means nothing without human memories, marking the experiences (good and bad) that thousands of people had in the place. It’s people who give meaning and value to a set of buildings, not the other way round. A group of us – former residents – are appealing the Heritage Victoria decision. Wish us luck!

  157. Good luck indeed Frank!

    I love your commentary about heritage – so true! Thank you.

    If there is anything that others can do to help, please let me know and I will post your advice, if you wish.

  158. Hello I was transfered to Osler House in March 1988 after trying to kill myself while I was in PA Psych unit I was only 16 at the time. No one ever decided to contact family services and tell them that I was in need of help from them. So when they released me from Osler House in the May I was told to either go home to my parents and be beaten and abused or find alterative living arrangements.So with no one to help I ended up back in PA Psych 3 weeks later and the back to Osler House for 13 months and then onto Lewis House A for 4 months then a social worker from Wolston Park read my file and found out that no one had told family services that I was there.She told me that the hospital had to release me before I turn 18 so that there would be comeback at the hospital or Dr Haycock who sent me there.I never understood what she meant at the time. Things might have been diferent if some had ask family services to help me. I through the abuse at home was bad but the abuse in at Osler House was just the same only thing different was the people who were abusing me this time I didnt know.There was alot of young girls sent to Osler House when I was there it was like the dumping ground for all of Dr H’s trouble patients as one of the nurses referred to us as. I didn,t know till a couple of years after I was in there that it was for the Criminally Insane. What crime did I do to be sent to hell and back. I only wanted the people who were meant to be my parents to give me food and love not to be beaten, abused and treated like s***.I would love to see the day when justis is done for what happened not just to me but to Cathy, Margarie ,
    Catherine,Erica and lovely little Reberta if you all are still alive we can say we all survived and that is some kind of justice I guess. They killed every other part of us but we still survied.

  159. It is sad that this site will not continue after November 16th It has been one of the few places where FAs are not turned back because of funding or other reasons .It has allow ,in the last 6 months or so , FAs to express their experiences and lifes journey in a safe place and has gain momenton in that time and now it is to come to an end.

    Thanks Adele and hope that our decision makers will one day regret what was a usefull tool and the decisionj to cut the life blood for many FAs is now NO more

    Again Thanks Adele

  160. Thank you Adele and staff. My grandchildren are proud that I was finally able to release my BIG secret. You were a part of that personal development, for me. I thank you for the opportunity you afforded us all. History should never repeat and you have certainly been an outlet for us all. Best wishes on your new adventures and it has been a pleasure having you at the helm of a long forgotten history in Australias growth. Best wishes to you all in all that you may undertake.

  161. hi gabbi thanks for the reply, but im sad to say that i carnt make it to the reunion as i now live in qld and just carnt afford accodation and flights. but my best goes out to you all and i will be thinking of you all on this day ,as winnlation was also my saviour and my punishment .xxx colleen.

  162. An update on the campaign to get a heritage listing on the old Ballarat Orphanage. You may remember that the site has been sold to developers who have not yet disclosed their plans, but the prevailing view is that they want to make a killing by clearing the site so as to built units.

    Heritage Victoria refused to put the site on its heritage list. Some of us have appealed the Heritage Victoria decision and we have a formal hearing set down for 18 November. A good number of people have signed a petition asking that the site be preserved.

    On the assumption that Heritage Victoria would not change its initial negative decision, in August the City of Ballarat ran a ‘consultation’ session for former residents to gain our views. Discussion was in small groups only with no opportunity to hear what other groups in the room said. Fishy?

    The organisers at the City of Ballarat then refused to tell us what was sent in our name by way of a report to the developers about our views. Extraordinary, that we are not allowed to know what was reported to be our views! Fishier?

    I lodged an FOI request for the the document which is claimed to represent our views. The FOI officer rejected my FOI application. I have asked his boss for a review of that decision.

    Meanwhile, the developers, who are getting impatient, have asked to meet with those of us who appealed the Heritage Victoria decision on 25 October. Fishiest?

    We will go along to this meeting to get an update on their planning, but still intend to go full steam ahead to Heritage Victoria because that’s the only way we can get a legally binding requirement that the developers treat the site with sensitivity and have regard for the history of the thousands of children who grew up in the Orphanage.

  163. The need to ensure the INSIDE exhibit sensitively is presented as it travels Australia, and the web site kept active.

    Hello Australia! Are you listening?
    What great good fortune that National Museum of Australia was “loaned” Dr. Adele Chynoweth to set up a web site for the expression of “Forgotten Australians” and help shape the INSIDE: Life in Childrens Homes and Institutions exhibit (her ‘loan” to the Museum is up when the exhibit opens this November). Now is not the time to let her go. We need her. Let us take courage and see if she can be retained for the life of the INSIDE show so that the web site will grow and the exhibit can be taken around the country with continuity and strength and make history seamlessly.
    NOW is the time and ANM is the place and this gifted facilitator is the circumstance for Australians to begin to come to terms with past look-the-other-way-and-don’t-question policies and learn how the human rights of so many children hundreds of thousands of children were ignored.
    As someone dubbed a “forgotten Australian” I am concerned that the NMA without Dr. Adele Chynoweth’s presence, does not have what it takes in terms of expert understanding of this particular issue. We trust her. Her insights are necessary in order to fulfill the initial impulse that Kevin Rudd set in place in the highly unusual government mandate and underwriting to carry out this extremely sensitive and important task of giving voice to the experiences of a half a million people who have had their lives maimed by Australia’s child/racial, colonial policies, so as to educate and inform the public of the dust-under-the-national-rug. This was something new– a mandate by the nation’s leaders who, in a rare moment of acknowledgement of the moral weight of testimony from a vulnerable and undefended segment of the population.
    I’m still looking for the bold vision the new NMA Director Andrew Sayers spoke of when you said, “We want to make the museum a place where the issues facing our nation in the future can be debated and confronted.” In my experience and observation such bold vision does not arise from institutional precedent, buildings or policy. Nor is it often known to arise from professional public servants. It arises from the courage of one humble heart after the other, and builds like an avalanche–in recognition of a task asking to be done by the time, the place and the circumstance. It starts with an individual’s bravery.
    I am sure that Adele Chynoweth is this person called forward to this task by time, place and circumstance, not someone who can be swapped out and the show go on. This is a highly unusual and gifted person–we recognize her! The good she has built up should not be left to fizzle away.
    Of course Adele does not aspire to being singled out or championed–precisely because she is just doing her job. It is not customary to see when the confluence of experience and the unencumbered mind are able to purely act from the circumstance of vision on a task that is executed with integrity one step at a time. Perhaps my view from the diaspora is more acute because, as Proust observed, we have to be out side the room to be able to tell of it.
    Perhaps it is only from the outside that Adele’s work can be seen to stand head and shoulders above those who lack the parameters of her understanding that I am afraid seems to be lacking in the written-in-stone acceptance of precedent and the responsibility to put the museum itself first as an entity, (though perfectly understandable and necessary), rather than its mandate to serve the spirit of the nation which is yearning to be free from the fetters of self-delusion. A nation that really does want equality but hitherto for has understood that to mean snipping off the heads of every tall poppy that comes along–especially (again I am talking from personal experience here) if that poppy is feminine.
    I believe that Dr. Adele Chynoweth is the particular public servant who, with great compassion, understanding and hard work, is most able to fully recognize OUR bold vision to be included in the nation body. And isn’t this what every museum worth its salt wishes for—a chance to go the extra mile and make history by meeting the needs of the time? Let’s be creative and see what can be done to retain Dr Chynoweth whose aptitude to shape and curate a venue for of those of us marginalized, ignored, forgotten, and unwanted for so long should be allowed to thrive.

  164. Hi, Racheal Romero,

    Re letter dated 17/9/11 time 2.51am.
    I agree with everything you said in regards to F.As need Dr. Adele Chynoweth to carry on with our plight and represent us. Reasons being Adele has got to know F.As either in person or by phone and letters, in that she would be our best teacher to educate society of life in Childrens Homes. F.As need someone that is not fake and believes and executes F.As experiences with conviction and passion as I would want it to be done.

    I believe there are two types of people, those that believe it was the childrens fault and the S.C.D did the right thing placing the rebellous into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment [probally because they had no where else to put them] and believe Psychiatrists did the right thing giving electric shock treatment for rebellion or bad behavour such as standing up to tyrannical authority or to people that hurt them.
    Or those that believe F.As had no human rights and understand FAs how they were in a systems of abuse, children parted from their families was psychological assult for a start to which some of their sibblings they have never met in person.

    I would like to point out children that rebelled to nuns/carers in the homes were devalued greatly, thus they were placed by the State Childrens Department into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment [ in moral danger with the mentally crinimally insane] or so they claimed ,but as they obviously needed gunea pigs and were used for psychiatric experiements such as Deep Sleep Therapy, electric shock treatment straight jackets drugging worse than zombies and sexual things took place with girls wittnesses stated.

    The persons that have been chosen to educate society on Life in Childrens Homes , will they go in detail that children were placed by the government into adult mental asylums as a form of punishment explaining what was done to them. I dont believe they want that information released to the public, I hope I am wrong.
    What was done to my sister in the asylum [ and many others] because of “adolescent rebellion” was cruel, sadastic and barabic and hurts , and anyone please explain how does one forgive for such action performed on children, there is no justification for what ps did to them.

    F.A had not human rights in those days and the girls that stood up to tyrannical authority it took a lot of intelligence and God given guts. If an adult is hurting a child the child responded by standing up to nuns/carers or abscondered from the orphanages that was the only thing they could of done.

  165. sad to read that all this is coming to an end i tried to have documents placed into the museum but unfortunally they won’t be placed in the exhibition, adele you have done a lot of great work here to now find out this is closing down is a tragic for all forgotten australians , child migrants , and stolen generation victims of childhood abuse whether we were in goverment childrens homes or church homes , the goverment and those of the churches still cover up about the crimes we suffered while under their care , im a real victim of daruk boys home windsor new south wales, 1976,1977,1978.
    I’m a victim who was sexually raped and sodimissed and assulted by 2 staff members who worked at daruk boys home windsor new south wales , and was assulted by other officers of this childrens home of which many other children were victims of assult , and rape, torture, slavery, placed in isolation cells, made to stand for up to 8 hours in one spot without moving , their is so so much more to write about this childrens home , of what was suffered by those who were their , the state of new south wales still cover up about daruk boys home windsor n.s.w if their was nothing to hide about this childrens home why has the state goverment not willing to show the log books of this childrens home of which shows the excursions from daruk to other childrens homes , or the outings on the river on cannoing trips to the hawksbury river and nepean river , or all the work allocations of where we children worked, and of where we children were made to dig trees out of the ground by the roots with maddocks, and that of dumping the tractor and truck and car tyres into 60 to 80 foot holes, of which this childrens home was making prophit from our slavery , their was only 2 job positions i never held at daruk boys home and they were the boiler house boy even though i had shoveled some coal , and that of store boy , they were the 2 kids who use to chase those who ran away and when they caught the run away child would belt them up until the officers came to them then the officers would give them another flogging , these are the stories that the goverment will not produce and we all can see and know why , because what we are telling is the truth , if it were not the truth the goverment would throw these log books open for the courts and the public if they had nothing to hide about victims just like myself , i would like for all the people who were in daruk boys home windsor n.s.w. who sighned confidentialality aggrements with the goverment to finally open the mouth up about daruk boys home n.s.w because those who signed these aggrements have stopped other victims of the same childrens home getting any justice, yes im real , my case file is still sitting at penrith police station waiting for other victims to come forward, i know many are dead now through suicde or have over dosed on drugs , or some are still to affraid to come out in the open to say what happend to them for fear it will destroy their life they have now, as it would cause either marriage break ups or faimly problems or some maybe still in and out of gaol, its nothing worse than a man coming out and saying he was a victim of rape as a child by a man , this is a fear with a man and why so many have not come forward because they feel they will be belittled or ridualculed by other men knowing they were raped by some bloke or blokes, i know their are other victims out their who suffered what i suffered in daruk boys home windsor n.s.w. and some even worse , i only wish they would come forward and help exspose daruk boys home for what it was , the haven for pedophile officers and abusive officers and those officers who just liked to assult the children ,

  166. Adele I am not very good at sending E. Mails so i wonder if you could give Dr Jay Auther a mesage. It will be alright for the media to use the photo of the Clontarf boys building the pool in any image they choose. The media should also know that the children worked under flash lights late into the nights while been driven by the brothers with sticks to work harder. The pool was not the only work site the boys worked on. Woe betide child who the brothers thought was not working hard enough they would be floged. Michael. O’ Donoghue.

  167. There is another scandal that has come out of St Andrews bording school Kataning WA. They are saying the pedaphile could be Australia’s worst and there are likely to be hundreds of boy victims. He has been found guilty of just few affences and they are trying to get other victims to come forward. Adele i will be very dissaponted to see the end of this Web Page. It has been an non biased and good theraph for us all. I have been inpressed by many of the woman hue have come out and have told their stories. The Child Migrants have been telling theirs stories for close on thrity years and with our counterparts the FA”S who were in the religous homes so it may seem that we are given too much atention. But you have to remember their is the historical value with the Child Migrants as there is with the Stolen Generation, we were both affected by the White Australian Policy. Michael.O’ Donoghue

  168. I was in parramatta girls home when I was 15 and pregnant, inside pregnancy was not seen as a condition and I remember vividly having to play softball at 8months pregnant and being hit with the ball! Parramatta was nortorious for being tough but it didn’t think about the lasting consequences it would have on the children who had been housed there.

  169. Lorraine there is no way they would of ever taken photo’s of everyday life in these childrens homes, these photo’s were publicity stunts to make it look like we were all happy and having a good time. I remember on a few occassions there were people who used to come to Nazareth House Ballarat and the nuns would take these people on a tour, I don’t know who they were, but the nuns must of known in advance they were coming because when we got up in the morning we had to change the canterpains and put these really nice ones on the bed then we would place a doll on the bed too. Once these visitors had left we would have to go upstairs to the dormitory and change it all back. One time I got caught hiding the doll under the mattress, the nun walked over and lifted the mattress up and pulled the doll out and placed it carefully in the box. She then came back and grabbed me by the hair and started to swing me around by the hair she suddenly let go and as I came down I hit my head on !
    the end of the bed, she then picked up a hairbrush and started belting me over the face and head with it, my face was so swollen Icouldn’t eat or talk properly for a few days I had lumps sticking out of my forehead and head as well and the night of this happening I couldn’t sleep because every way I turned my face and head would hurt. Funny you know that doll got better

  170. Vicki, their is a book you can get out of any library. It is called The Incnovenent Child and the author name is Sharon Crystal. Sharon was an inmate of both Parramatta and Hey institutions. Vicki welcome to the Web Page. Michael O’ Donoghue.

  171. Is it my good fortune for not being able to remember the things that happened to me while being in Glebe Shelter, Minda, Ormond x 2, Parramatta & Myee?
    Or did I block it out for a reason?

    My files say that I was always in the lower sections/unprivileged, which meant I was not co-operating with their guidelines, so what was the consequences for this?

    What ever the punishment was, it has caused me to push it so far back in my sub-conscience that I feel that I am the lucky one after reading the experiences of other Forgotten Australians.

    Thank you for giving the opportunity for others to share their actuality of there childhood experiences.

    My Poem

    Never let it happen again, the cruelty of a child
    All entrances are locked to my mind
    No entry will you find
    The locks and chains are securely on
    What memories of you are sparse
    For if the day that I remember
    Will be my daily curse.

  172. I am looking for any body that was in Kyle Bay Legacy Home & The Church of England Girls Home @ Carlingford during the 1960’s! My name was then Christine Blume & would appreciate any contact as I’m doing my Healing walk back to MySelf now. Thankyou 🙂

  173. this is an open letter to the Hon Jenny Macklin, MP,

    Dear Jenny Macklin, MP,
    Since the exhibition INSIDE: LIfe in Childrens’ Homes and Institutions is funded by the Dept. of Families and Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, can you please help us (the thousands of participants and followers of this initiative) see that Dr. Adele Chynoweth is retained for the life of the INSIDE show, or at least allowed to continue the exemplary (and internationally recognized) blog site she fostered so that it is not shut down (as planned) when the show opens November 16, but continues to give voice to Forgotten Australians as the exhibit travels around Australia through 2014.

    As you no doubt know, the National Museum of Australia was “loaned” Dr. Adele Chynoweth because of her constellation of expertise, experience and compassion to help set up this internationally recognized, ground-breaking blog site for the expression of “Forgotten Australians.” (FA’s) that shaped the exhibit, INSIDE: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions. Many FA’s feel that now is not the time to let her go and even more strongly that the exemplary Blog she fostered NOT be shut down and fossilized at the very moment the show begins. We (those of us without anyone to hear us for so long) need this blog as a place to be able to break our isolation, continue to process our experiences, and respond to the exhibit as part of the national dialog as the exhibit travels around Australia with continuity and strength and make history seamlessly.

    Adele has earned our trust. She is a highly unusual and gifted person–recognized by the thousands who frequent the blog she has set in place. The good she has built up should not be left to fizzle away. Many of us feel that her oversight and insights are necessary in order to fulfill the initial impulse that Kevin Rudd set in place in the highly unusual government mandate and underwriting to carry out this extremely sensitive and important task of providing a forum (the blog) to give voice to the experiences of a half a million people who have had their lives maimed by Australia’s child/racial, colonial policies, so as to educate and inform the public of the dust-under-the-national-rug. As you are aware, this was a rare moment of acknowledgement of the moral weight of testimony from a vulnerable and undefended segment of the population.

    NOW is the time and INSIDE blog site is the place and this gifted facilitator is the circumstance for Australians to begin to come to terms with past look-the-other-way-and-don’t-question policies and learn how the human rights of so many hundreds of thousands of children were ignored. Please help us keep the INSIDE blog alive!
    I believe that Dr. Adele Chynoweth is the particular public servant who, with great compassion, understanding and hard work, is most able to fully recognize OUR bold vision to be included in the nation body. And isn’t this what the Dept. of Families and Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs wished for—a chance to go the extra mile and make history by meeting the needs of the time? Let’s be creative and see what can be done to retain Dr Chynoweth whose aptitude to shape and curate this Blog as venue for of those of us marginalized, ignored, forgotten, and unwanted for so long should be allowed to thrive with and for us.
    Thank you in advance for your oversight,


    Rachael Romero,MA

  174. Even thou the Museum inside, Life in Children’s Homes has been a great thing and run by 2 lovely caring ladies, Adele and Jay, I feel that I have been dumped deliberately. I know some workers, who work for the government in different sections that hate what’s happened to us children, and don’t agree with what the government is doing now and back in the days when we were locked up but if they say how they really feel and how something should be done they will lose their jobs, sad hay.
    I have a 15 year old son and I can’t leave him as I have no one that can look after him. There are others who have cares and children who are in the museum as well. The Museum selected me and others to be present at the opening of the Museum on the 15 th of November and they will pay for my and their air fare and accommodation for two days..
    I have requested help for my son to come with me from the Forde Foundation and M.P. Jenny Macklin, etc. But there just running me round like they do to even the public. But so far lots have refuse to help me and they say because of limited funding. And that they had to say no to others who had careers or under age children with no one to look after them. What do they expect me to do with my son, neglect and abandon him for me to be at the Museum”, it looks like it. ? I am really p***ed off that they won’t help me. I can’t abandon or neglect my son as that is abuse. I feel they are abusing and neglecting me by not helping me with my circumstance. And hasn’t there been enough abuse thanks to our government. It’s not fair.
    The Museum is about the government trying to look good and make the public believe their sorry etc., with their sorry bit, and with doing this museum. But the government not sorry, there just words, where’s our free learning etc., the things we should have been tough when we were children and the things we need to learn now. And we should have compensation for being dumped in there and for what we went through and what we and our children and families are still going through now.
    Sometimes I feel the purpose of the Museum Life in Children’s Homes is a con on their part and it has just generated a few jobs for some selected people who are only told a limited amount of information, some of our poems and stories because they were too bloody and torture they weren’t allowed them on the site. Ok, children would see them that understandable. But how do the adults in the public see them on the museum. They can’t unless they go to you tube etc. . Anyone can put anything on you tube or Google. It’s not taking serest when it should be.
    These children especially the ones that were classified as uncontrollable or delinquents were sent to adult mental hospitals for the criminal mentally ill because of their behavior at psychiatrists request etc. , just so the government saved money on doing experiment on children with shock treatment, drug and behavior experiments.
    How many birth defects on F.As children that were in mental hospitals due to the drugs and electric shock treatments given that should never been given to children as young as 12 years old. The government is scared because they know we know how the government covered the whole picture of children being dumped and treated this way, for many decades. And we are still their Gunnies pigs they got our stories not only to tell the public but what they don’t tell the public is that how it was cover and what us children were doing there living with murders that they couldn’t handle in jail and other real mentally ill sick adults.
    Now this exhibition called inside is only going around Australia for 3 years after that nothing. See the government know what they are doing. If the pubic heard about the British being place in intuitions would they make a fuss and the forgotten Australia’s would they make a fuss maybe, but the Australia children being dumped into wards for the criminally mentally insane which 21 years of age was the starting age to be there and us children were 11, 12, 13 14, and 15 years of age getting raped bashed murdered and having shock treatment and treated and dragged worst lower than dirt, wouldn’t the public be wild and want to know why. And how can the government say we were there for punishment. Great punishment. It’s beyond me. I believe we should all stick together and fight together. Some of these organizations do nothing for us. What are they there for to look pretty or to make the government look pretty? The government a lot of the time waste they money. I am not coming to this party without a say or a fight. The only way they can stop me is kill me. And then knowing me, my spirit would take over. Ok.
    So far three of the drugs used on us children have been banded. Because of what they do to people let alone children. How sick and wrong.

  175. Thanks Lawrie and Rhonda,
    I’d like to respond to your comments.

    It is an understatement to conclude that the lack of current justice is a huge part of this social history.

    The National Museum’s exhibition is open to the public in Canberra on 16 November 2011 until 26 February 2012. As part of the exhibition I understand the importance of letting visitors know, if they wish, how they can help Forgotten Australians to gain justice. How can we get active to right wrongs?

    I will investigate current campaigns. In addition, please feel free to let me know about what anyone can do to help. You may post your comments on this website or to my email address:

  176. I received a phone call today from Keith Kelly and the news was not good . If anyone knows Keith he suffered in and extreme way at Mt Penang and Tamworth as well as Mittagong and some other institutions , Keiths biggest problem was he kept running away from horrific abuse and woulld often seek refuse by riunning to the only safe haven he new HOME .

    Keith was told today his claim for Victims Compensation was ——-DECLINED ———
    What can I say to Keith that will make any sense to him or me or all other FAs ——–

    ————————–NOTHING ————————————–

  177. I agree with Rhonda.

    The CHILDREN of Forgotten Australians are perhaps even more ‘forgotten’ in this current effort to raise awareness of the personal AND societal impact of the deindividualisation, dislocation, isolation and abuse perpetrated by hopelessly inadequate and uncaring systems and bureacracies across Australia upon hundreds of vulnerable, innocent children. It is a terrible shame that Jenny Macklin’s office refuses to acknowledge the impact on the children of these (now) adults who were so wounded by their experiences. The intergenerational impact can not, and should not be underestimated. Why is it then, that Jenny Macklin’s office refuses to support these young children to attend the opening of the exhibit that features their parents stories? In many cases, this hard line is preventing Forgotten Australians from attending themselves. Many Forgotten Australians remain isolated and disconnected from their families and communities, and don’t have the kind of informal, social support that many of us take for granted. They are still dealing with the aftermath of their experiences. This means that without support to take their children with them to Canberra to the opening, many are simply unable to come.

    As an Australian, this makes me feel terribly ashamed. After all that these adults have been through at the hands of Federal and State Government policies and systems, I should think that the cost of a few airfares for their children to attend the opening of the exhibit would be the least that we could do. It won’t make up for the losses these families of the Forgotten Australians have suffered, but it will give them the message that they too are important, and that their experiences as members of families that were torn apart long before they were born, are acknowledged. SHAME Jenny Macklin.

    Having said all that, IT IS NOT TOO LATE. I would like to respectfully request that on my behalf, and on behalf of all the other Australians across our ‘lucky’ nation who stand in support of the Forgotten Australians and their families, that you correct your oversight, and offer these families the opportunity to be together in Canberra as the exhibit is officially unveiled.


  178. i can only hope that Ms Macklin the head of FaHCSIA , will not allow this to happen by having this closed , as their are still many people out their who are not aware of this site and i feel it is a important part of our history that this continues not only for the forgotten australians but for those of the australian public who will be able to see and be able to comett , to the stories that everyone has put in here , its so sad to know the goverment starts something then pull it down from underneath our very own feet , we are being swept under that goverment carpet again , and until the goverment charge all the perpertrators who did these crimes non of us forgotten australians will ever be able to have closure or move forward the and be able to go on and live a normal life without having this suffering that we carry everyday wake up Ms Macklin and see the big picture we are real human beings , still being treated the same as if we were in the childrens homes under goverment control because you deny to charge these abusers who have done these crimes to those of us who were in these childrens homes through out this country of australia, by protecting the abusers still to this day

  179. Thanks so much for your support of the website Michael.

    Please be assured that while there will be no more comments or postings on the site after November 16, 2011, the website will remain online so that all the stories and comments that have been uploaded will still be able to be accessed by anyone who logs on.

  180. I am a Canadian Sociologist (and former therapist) who is researching and writing about the Magdalene experience. I am heartened by the presence of this blog, I follow it with interest and compassion, and I cannot understand why such a long awaited and vital source of support should be closed. Those institutionalized as children have waited their entire lives to find significant connections and understandings tied to their experiences of abuse and incarceration. This site offers them that. It seems to me that keeping this going is the very least the Government can do if they are at all serious about supporting the people they have wounded so deeply. I commend Adele on her outstanding contributions here and with the exhibit and call upon the Government to keep this site alive. Other countries are watching Australia. Please honour the people you once so betrayed so completely.

  181. Isn,t it strange? Human God Police reprimanding China and the Middle East on human rights. Are we not human beings in this the lucky country? What about our human rights?
    Gillard wants to return the budget to the black side of the ledger, wants to sell uranium to India, pays millions in care and court costs for the asylum seekers, intervenes in the Bali Boy incident but never a word for us. It did not take Macklin long to recind our funding for this site, recind dental and medical in some states and ignore us nationally. Rudd said we would be The Remembered Australians and we ate it up, the ill, the old, the needy. Well a lesson has been learnt here, it is not to trust any politicans rhetoric, spin and bull. Why should they care when all they need is our vote for them to keep their jobs and that is all it is. It is about furthering themselves. Empty vessels making sounds to appease. None will get my vote, I”ll pay the fine, and leave it to the more gullible in society to make the choice of which liars and low characters they will have lead them.

  182. Bye all, let us all go out with Dignity. Macklin has already scrapped it. The budget to surplus is the name of the game and we the inconvienient truth. Let the once Labor Party of the people join the conservative ranks of the other weak opportunistic employees of the people. Politicians are theorists, they do not get down and get dirty, they talk crap and we eat it. They take care of the dollars. Our dollars by the way. Our paid taxes and their paid wages. Keep fighting the good fight against the abuse of children, it sure is a lifelong agony.

  183. As a parting comment, I would like to thank all those people responsible for this exhibition. Nothing can take away the memories I have of my incarceration, the effort it took for me to educate myself after I was discharged from the home, the impact the years spent in this home has had on me and people who have been close to me. I could go on…so many repercussions. But as I sit tonight, a long way away from the institution, in another country, I am reading what has been said about me and others who suffered as I did. I am understanding that people see what we went through as shocking, and this gives me a sense of validation and peace. To many of us living through the hell of all this, it seemed normal at the time, it was all we knew…

    Thank you Adele and Karolina. Janice.

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