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About the exhibition

Objects from the Inside exhibition



Logos and sponsor blurb from main exh panel

This website is largely based on the exhibition, Inside: Life in Children's Homes and Institutions, which was developed by the National Museum of Australia and supported by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The exhibition was largely developed using the words of people who experienced growing up in children's home, orphanages and other 'care' institutions. These people - members of the Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations and Former Child Migrants - shared their stories through submissions to Senate inquiries, personal biographies and collected histories, film, radio and press, and via private conversations, emails and postings on the National Museum of Australia's Inside: Life in Children's Homes blog.

Talking pictures

To this day, many people who lived in children's institutions feel a sense of shame, abandonment, anger and confusion at having been in a 'home'. Because of this, some have never spoken of their past, even to their families.

Most of the photographs in this exhibition are taken from official records. This means they show an official, often sanitised view of life in institutions at the time.

The faces of adolescents in these photographs have been blurred to protect the privacy of individuals.

Inside exhibition opening

Inside was launched at the National Museum in Canberra on 15 November 2011.


audio_w15 Listen to the audio of the Inside exhibition launch

Read the transcript of the Inside exhibition launch


audio_w15 'Understanding and representing trauma' conversation
Includes reflections from curators and researchers who worked on the Forgotten Australians exhibition and oral history project

'Let our histories be visible' article by Adele Chynoweth in the Museum's reCollections journal