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Forgotten Australians

What can they tell us about Australian society in the 20th century?

The Forgotten Australians: cover of the unit of work

In this unit, students consider the experiences of Forgotten Australians and what those experiences tell us about society, and especially about childhood for poor and disadvantaged children in Australia in the 20th century. Areas of life such as food and shelter, health and hygiene, work, family, and punishment and discipline are explored in this little known and often profoundly disturbing episode of Australian history.

Important note to teachers

There are some confronting and disturbing stories and images in this unit of work. Please read through the unit and take any necessary steps to ensure that the evidence does not adversely affect your students.

History of Forgotten Australians

This teaching resource and the exhibition, Inside: Life in Children's Homes and Institutions, are part of a project funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to document the history of Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants.

Find & Connect web resource

In addition to the further reading listed in the unit of work, the evolving web resource Find & Connect helps Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants understand more about their past and about the historical context of child welfare. It will also help raise awareness, and play a role in acknowledging past wrongs.