Politics, Community & Society > Forgotten Australians are Now Remembered Australians

Forgotten Australians are Now Remembered Australians

By BARBARA LANE
Published: January 22, 2010

On November 16, 2009, a National Apology was made to those called the Forgotten Australians. The apology came from both sides of Parliament.

The forgotten Australians were the approximately 500,000 Australian children who spent time in children’s institutions and out-of-home care during the last century, many of whom report histories of severe abuse and neglect.

During his speech, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that he hoped those he was addressing would, from now on, be known as “Remembered Australians”.

The then leader of the opposition, Malcolm Turnbull also made a speech which many system-leavers found very moving. One of the most important things said was, “We believe you”.

In the Northern Rivers, a group has been established to provide information, support and referral to those who were under state care arrangements during the last century and who live or work in the Northern Rivers area.

The group has chosen the name, “Now-remembered Australians” and was formed after the national apology took place.

Now-Remembered Australians (NRA) as a group aim towards establishing a shop front in Lismore and providing assistance and advocacy for remembered Australians. They are currently meeting fortnightly at Caddies in Carrington St, Lismore, at 1pm on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. They also hold a barbecue on the third Saturday of the month at 2pm in Heritage Park.

NRA can be contacted at nowrememberedaustralians@gmail.com

by writing to:

Now-Remembered Australians

PO Box 894

Lismore 2480

You can also visit the website at http://www.nowrememberedaustralians.com

Reactions to the apology have been varied, and there are those who will never be able to accept it, whose hurt and shame runs too deep for mere words to affect.

Others feel it has been a necessary step on the road to recovery, but that much more is needed.

NRA member Graeme Schipp grew up in homes in NSW. He did not hear about the National Apology in time to attend in person. In fact, many people did not hear about the apology until after the event, and there will be those who are still unaware it has occurred. Graeme said, “The NRA group has been really helpful and supportive and understanding, and we need that.”

Other members expressed gratitude for the relief the group has given them from isolation and associated depression.

The Commonwealth Government has, so far, refused to offer financial redress to former forgotten Australians, and the states are varied in their responses. Some have set up redress schemes and some have not. New South Wales does not yet have a redress scheme, but recently issued a state apology to care leavers.

Comments

1. Josephine R A "Cavanough"LittleHawk on February 12, 2010

Thankyou My name is Josephine I need A helping hand please I live S.A.I have my First forum/support group.On the 22nd feb 2010.I have been threaten and abused by those here who feel they would prefer to be forgotten I say 'each to their own" I feel Remembered is for Me and ask for support PLEASE I dont have any support from funding..But I have Prof F.Briggs as my Consultant.Amanada Risthworth MP is supportting.The venue is supplied By Youth Xchange..I have limited resourses.

2. noni on September 8, 2010

my grandmother and her four sisters grew up in king edward home darby street newcastle nsw my mother was adopted from newcastle at one month old in 1937 i was told that i was born at a roslyn private arncliff nsw but can only find a roslyn babies home rockdale nsw were or are thay connected in the late 1950s the search continues any one who may have info about roslyn babies home and or hospital please enlighten me !!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. globespinner on September 12, 2010

Hi Noni. Rockdale Private Hospital is at 30 Forest Rd Arncliffe. Roslyn Hall, otherwise known as Rockdale Babies Home or Roslyn Babies Home was at 89 Cameron St Rockdale and was open from 1894--1976. I hope this helps. More info can be gained from Post-Adoptive Resource Centre which is run by the Benevolent Society. Best of luck with your search!

4. noni on September 27, 2010

THANKYOU FOR EMAILING ME THIS INFO DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KING EDWARD CHILDRENS HOME DARBY STREET NEWCASTLE NSW IN THE 1920s AND 1930s AND HOW CAN I ACCESS MY GRAND MOTHERS FILE AND PHOTOS I WAS TOLD BY A MR. DARELL LIGHTFOOT WHO WORKED AT KING EDWARD CHILDRENS HOME IN THE 1960s THAT HE HAD SEEN A PHOTO ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY GRAND MOTHER AND HER OLDER SISTER AND HER HUSBAND WERE BAPTIZED INTO THE CHRISTADELPHIAN FAITH AT QURINNDI NSW WHO ARE THE CHRISTADELPHIANS??? NONI 2010

5. globespinner on October 4, 2010

Hi Noni, Apparently King Edward Children's Home at Bar Beach in Newcastle opened in 1935. I cannot find any artifacts from the home. Apparently there were six references to that home in the Senate Inquiry (Forgotten Australians).

I don't think you can actually get your Grandmother's file, only your own. If you contact the Department of Communities in NSW and ask them to send you a request for state ward records form, they will post one to you. Or, if you email nowrememberedaustralians@gmail.com and send me your address or phone number , I can arrange to send you a form to get your own files.

You might also like to talk to a free counsellor at CLAN (Care Leavers Australia Network). You can phone 1800 008 774 to make an appointment with Natalie, the counsellor there, who may help in the process of accessing records.

The Christadelphians have a helpline: 0407 558 819 or for the North West area, where Quirindi is, there is supposed to be a Sister Margaret Bensley as the contact person. Her number is listed as 02 6765 6118, or you can write to PO Box 171 Quirindi 2343.

Good luck! Hope this helps a bit. Regards,

Barbara

6. noni on October 5, 2010

THANKYOU BARBARA FOR ALL THE INFO I DID FILL IN THE SUPPLY AUTHORITY FORM IT WAS SENT BACK TO ME AND SAID NOT IN THIS STATE !!!!!!!!!!!!! SO ONLY CONFORMATION FOR NSW!!!!!! RECORDS FROM THE ARCHIVES AT THE ROCKS TWO GLOBE STREET SYDNEY SHOW ON A PAGE IN A RECORDS BOOK A RECORD OF A HOME BIRTH IN 1928 NO MENTION FOR A MAIL OR A FEMAIL ONLY 1928 MY GRANDMOTHER WAS BORN IN 1915 SHE WAS IN FOSTER CARE AT THAT TIME IN NEWCASTLE NSW AND IN THOSE DAYS THE CHILD WAS REMOVED WHO WAS THAT CHILD ?????? ANOTHER REMOVED FAMILY MEMBER

7. Annie on November 9, 2010

Hi, I was in Roslyn Hall babies home Rockdale NSW: can't find much info either but did get a copy of my "admission " page and "inmate" status.

8. Darlene Mckay on November 13, 2010

Hi guys, thank- you for your website, thanks shaz for all the info, will see you at the next meeting. My husband and l were invited to the apoligy on the 16th, we went and took my mother-in-law, yes it was moveing and l felt slightly validated as a person,but, and its a big but, lve never felt so lost in all my 50yrs of trying to deal with my past, l was in about 17 different placeings never foster, in Victoria. Now its all on top of me again,i'd had therapy years ago to try and make some sence of it,,,,,,, all there bits and piece of my past that they call my records have shattered me. i too have to wonder why, and wonder what they were thinking..... Regards Darlene Mckay, [ nee Warren ]

9. globespinner on November 14, 2010

Hi Darlene.

Many people experienced a form of retraumatisation upon going through their records. You are not alone. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

10. Pauline McDonogh on December 30, 2010

Hi Barbara

My sister Maureen stumbled across and revisited King Edwards in Newcastle in July 2010. The building is operating as the Brain Injury Trauma Unit. My sister Maureen & I were guided through by an empathic nurse who told us that another lady had called in and told her virtually the same story as we did. We went into the room which Maureen slept in and the original laundry. The door was the original on the Matrons office. Hope 2011 brings more answers for all of us. regards Pauline

Any Comments?


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