Skip to content

This website uses words, photos and objects from people who spent time growing up in children’s homes, orphanages and other ‘care’ institutions.

These pages feature personal contributions to the National Museum of Australia’s Inside exhibition. They tell only a small part of each person’s story.

Brian Hart

Exhibition graphic panel that reads: 'At long last someone is listening to us. At long last we can talk about the events that happened to us.', attributed to 'Brian Hart, Salvation Army Home, Western Australia, 1950s.'


Exhibition graphic panel that reads: 'One day I’d decided to stab another kid ... with a fork. I figured it would get me out of Tamworth and back to another boys’ home or a mental institution. I was so desperate to get away from the place ... Luckily I snapped out of it.' attributed to 'KH, Tamworth Boys Home, Tamworth, New South Wales, 1960s, ‘Reap as you sow’, by Bernie Matthews, 'Griffith Review', May 2007'.

Christine Lang

Exhibition graphic panel that reads: 'IF YOU WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET A PAIR OF UNDIES THAT FITTED YOU THOUGHT ALL YOUR CHRISTMASES HAS COME AT ONCE,' attributed to 'Christine Lang, UPA Home, Rathgar, New South Wales', about 1960s, 'Orphans of the Living', by Joanna Penglas, 2005.

Crystal Lennox

Exhibition graphic panel that reads: 'You had to get out of bed, line up. Open the door, line up with toothbrush. A grey locker, I had one dress and a school dress. Line up to go to the toilet, clean your teeth, get your uniform on, line up for breakfast, line up out of breakfast. Out the back of the kitchen, way down the yard, the school. Line up, line up. Set times for TV, meals, then go to bed', attributed to 'Chrystal Lennox, Bidura Receiving Depot, Glebe, New South Wales, 1960s, 'Orphans of the Living', by Joanna Penglase, 2005'.

Gloria Lovely

Exhibition graphic panel that reads: 'We would have to sit cross-legged with our fingers on our lips for hours — out on the verandah. Instead of play, we were made to sit for hours', attributed to 'Gloria Lovely, St Vincent’s Orphanage, Nudgee, Queensland, 1950s'.
Return to Top