Welcome to We speak your history series. This series was created to speak the true history of this world from the people who have lived it. Speaking for the Forgotten Australians is Leigh Westin Ryan.
Forgotten Australians is a term applied to the more than 500,000 non-indigenous, child migrants and indigenous children who experienced care in institutions or outside a home . Children were shipped from Britain to Australia, mainly from poor backgrounds, often without the knowledge of their parents.
There was a history of neglect and cruelty by institutional staff and management. Physical deprivation was common. Children were cold and hungry. Hard physical work was part of their daily lives. Particularly demeaning and very difficult tasks were given as punishments. Punishments for very small offences or perceived disobedience could be harsh and cruel – severe physical attacks and beatings are reported by many. Alternatively, children were locked in a cupboard or a cell in solitary confinement or made to stand for many hours in one position. The children suffered abandonment, loss of family, neglect, exploitation, brutality, sexual assault, poor health care, poor education and loss of Identity. Their names were replaced with numbers.
An Apology was issued on November 16, 2009 by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
To learn more go to:
Mark Torr- A Call for Justice
Momma by Leanne Hawkins
Graham Evans- Spirit of Australia, Children of Australia and Children of the Past.
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