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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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,

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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 .

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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 .

  46. 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.

  47. 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 ????????????????????????.

  48. 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.

  49. 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?

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