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Education kit

Inside: Life in Children's Homes and Institutions

WARNING: This website contains confronting and disturbing content, and names and images of deceased people. It may not be suitable for children under 15 years. Many of the historical images show an official, sanitised view which did not reflect reality. The faces of some adolescents have been blurred to protect privacy.

Education kit

The Forgotten Australians

This unit of work was developed to challenge secondary students to 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.

Colour photograph showing an A4 page headed 'The Forgotten Australians. What do they tell us about social life in Australia in the twentieth century?' The page has two columns of printed text and an image of a cushion cover.

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.

The Forgotten Australians education kit was developed by the National Museum of Australia and Ryebuck Media with the support and assistance of the Alliance for Forgotten Australians (AFA) and Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN).

Important note to teachers

There are some confronting and disturbing stories and images in this unit of work. Teachers are advised that there may be students in your classroom who for various reasons, including family involvement, may be affected by these stories and images of a history that was hidden for so many years and sometimes seen as shameful in the past. Please read through the unit and take any necessary steps to ensure that the evidence does not have any unintended harmful effects.

pdf Forgotten Australians – full colour (PDF 4.4 MB)

pdf Forgotten Australians – black and white (PDF 2.2 MB)

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.

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