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Apology and unfinished business

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.

National Apology and unfinished business

Close-up of intertwined hands and lap with sprigs of flowers.

The Australian Government made a National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants for the suffering they had experienced in 'out of home' care, in November 2009. The year before, the Government apologised to the Stolen Generations. For some, such apologies carry great meaning. For others, they are just words.

Leaving the Homes did not mean the Homes left those who had spent time there. For good or bad, that experience remained part of their lives.

Although there were good outcomes from these apologies, many issues of justice and healing belonging to this story remain unresolved.

'Great evil has been done ... '

We were in the Homes 14:07

A slideshow of photographs by the National Museum's George Serras and Jeremy Lucas from the:

  • National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, Canberra, 2009
  • national apology to former residents of the Salvation Army Homes, by the Salvation Army, Canberra, 2010
  • Forgotten Australians and Child Protection Week Committee Remembrance Day, Brisbane, 2011.

Rhonda Trivett performs karaoke of the Bee Gees' song 'I started a joke', 2010. Courtesy John Kovacs. Rhonda was incarcerated for eight years from the age of 13 in the locked adult psychiatric ward at Wolston Park Psychiatric Hopsital, Queensland. There was no diagnosis of mental illness.

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