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You are in site section: Exhibitions


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.


A syringe on a stained white cloth.

Institutions which cared for children in Australia from the 1920s to 1980s were under-resourced, poorly supervised and lacked government scrutiny.

This meant that children were not protected from the possibility of physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
No child who entered a home could be considered safe from abuse. If they suffered in this way there was no escape, as even if they dared to tell they were not believed.

Running away was the only form of escape. This resulted in further punishment. Rarely were children asked why they had run away.

'We were in fear all the time ...'

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