art, documents, drawing, Forgotten Australians, memories

A tormented life

by Warren Porter (guest author) on 28 April, 2010

Warren and his younger brother Graham were placed in their first institution when they were 4 and 2 years old. They endured the next decade and a half in various institutions, training farms and – despite being under age – jail.

In telling their story, Warren includes evidence such as photographs and documents, as well as vivid descriptions and drawings such as the following:

It was around June 1959 when my mate Charlie and I were making plans to p*** off from the Brook but made the mistake of telling this new boy who wanted to come with us about what we were going to do.

To read more of Warren’s story, download the extract from his illustrated book (PDF 1.8mb). The book is now in the National Library of Australia.

Forgotten Australians, memories

More about Nudgee Orphanage

by Nikki Daniels (guest author) on 22 April, 2010

I really don’t like the label forgotten. forgotten would be to me – that when i was a child calling asking for help – there was none. I was drugged on nuelactyl (heavy tranquiliser)at 5 years of age for 6 solid weeks locked in a child’s hospital/ orphanage . They shipped me around from one paedophile family to the next. The doctor report says.. she denies her anus is sore… i think i would like to know.. 2 things actually. why was my anus sore.. and why was the doctor looking at my anus ? i have been a mother for over 22 years and never has a doctor ever looked at my child’s anus.. It was so easy for paedophiles to get acess into orphanages and group homes because it wasn’t actually his job. his wife was employed and he was just her husband. the new house father. they changed every couple of years. Because the husband was not actually employed by the state or the church – it makes an open case for anyone wanting to press charges upon that particular perpetrator. Paedophiles seem to do life long damage to children into adulthood and even elderly have hidden it all their life. most children asked for help and were denied the basic right of a human being. We had noone to turn to, the children that is. Most of the boys at a certain age were shipped out to prison youth farms westbrook and boystown.. what kind of a start to life is that. one would have thought that the government should have been educating these children properly as her own children. Would have made the country half a million people smarter and the rest of the generations there after. The government again i feel apologised only to protect their own ass. not that true care and concern was shown – after it was too late. the damage done. i have had the prime minister apologise to me and half a million other people. but the prime minister does not know who i am.. so facts are what i am saying is correct. i am still that little girl.. money does not and will not fix peoples problems. it gives them a moment .. of freedom. i have a lot of things i can say about this topic being a forgotten australian … The way that i was treated has had much impact on the way i approach society and how i involve myself in society. I don’t and i wonder sometimes would i be a different person if the abuse had never happened and i had a normal family. Finding my mother 41 years later – did not fix the problem. more it was a disappointment that i waited my whole life for what.. i cannot enjoy to be a child in her mothers arms. i cannot enjoy my mother showing me how to cook and wash my hands sing me songs or kiss me goodnight. . i cannot show my mother my first day at school . i was robbed of all these normal… things that any child should have. things that even a child in a third world nation does have. meeting my mother was like another slap in the face.. to meet a woman whom i should be attached but we are complete strangers.. an emptiness .. that cup will never be full. there lingers the scent only a hint.. of what should have been or could of been if it would have been.

who decides what goes into this book..?? more government officials ? more people paid a government grant for fundings? or do the actual people who are the forgotten australians get a choice..??? or is that right going to be taken as well.???. just like the unsigned federal apology…

art, Forgotten Australians, painting


by Mim Willson-Dekker (guest author) on 31 March, 2010

The painting ‘Depression: Abuse in Children’s Home and at Work as an Adult’ by artist Mim Willson-Dekker, depicts the events that triggered her suicide attempt in 1971.

Mim Willson-Dekker was born in 1929 in Toowoomba, Queensland. At the age of nine, her mother was widowed and went to work. As a result, Mim was placed in Dr Dill Mackay Home in Auburn, New South Wales. The abusive episodes in her painting took place at Dr Dill Mackay Home, her foster home and thoughout her work as a lab attendant in the Chemistry Department at the University of Queensland.

Depression: Abuse in Children’s Home and at Work as an Adult
Copyright Mim Willson-Dekker 2002