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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 children have been blurred to protect privacy.

Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions shares the experiences of some of the 500,000 children who spent time in institutional care in Australia in the 20th century.

The stories, photographs and personal objects from Forgotten Australians, former child migrants and members of the Stolen Generations provide a chance to understand something of a history that affected so many people and was hidden for so long.

Inside was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 16 November 2011 until 26 February 2012.


See contributions to our Inside blog, where people generously shared their experiences and memories as the Museum developed the exhibition.

Read the blog

This chapter in Australia’s story came to the fore in 2009 when the Australian Government made a National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. From the apology came funding for the Inside exhibition, on which this website is based.


Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions was developed by the National Museum of Australia and supported by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Inside was also on show at:

  • Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 9 August to 16 November 2014
  • Western Australian Maritime Museum, Fremantle, 14 March to 29 June 2014
  • Melbourne Museum, Victoria, 29 August 2013 to 27 January 2014.
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