Reports and Stories of the Forgotten Australians throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.


Forgotten Australian Memorials By State or Territory

Queensland 01 December 2004

Emma Miller Place is the location for the Historic Abuse Network Memorial also referred to as the Child Abuse memorial, the unveiling took place on the 1st of December 2004, Roma Street, Brisbane.

Sculptured by Gavan Felon depicting a life size statue of a bare footed boy with a somewhat dishevelled suitcase in hand.


In memory of all the children who suffered and of those who did not survive abuse in Church and State Children’s institutions and homes in Queensland. “For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known, neither was anything made secret out that it should come to light.”

Many thanks to the Brisbane City council and Queensland Council, Department of Communities.

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New South Wales 19th September 2009

19 September 2009, the NSW Government held a healing service in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, more than 700 people who grew up in orphanages, children’s homes, institutions and foster homes in NSW were present. The service included the unveiling of  memorial plaque within the gardens to commemorate the experiences of the Forgotten Australians.

The inscription reads: For Forgotten Australians

In this place, we remember the many thousands of NSW children who grew up in care in the decades leading up to the 1990s – in orphanages, in Children’s Homes and foster homes,in institutions. We remember the lonely, the frightened, the lost, the abused – those who never knew the joy of a loving family, who suffered too often at the hands of a system meant to provide for their safety and wellbeing. We rejoice in their courage and strength.

The plaque is a stone plinth at the Twin Ponds site in the Gardens.


South Australia 17 June 2010

17 June 2010 the South Australian Memorial to the Forgotten Australians was unveiled in Peace Park at the corner of Sir Edwin Smith Avenue and Brougham Place. It consists of four stainless steel daisies, each in a different state of opening, as a symbol of hope and healing for children (now adults) who suffered harm in out of home care.

Artist Craige Andrae, was inspired by his love and hopes for his own small children.  

The dedication on the memorial reads:

In honour of children who suffered abuse in institutional and out of home care. We have grown though awareness and unity. We celebrate our courage, strength and resilience. We are no longer forgotten. Dedicated to the future protection and nurturing of all children.

The memorial was unveiled by several children of former state wards at a moving ceremony which was attended by about 200 people.

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Victoria 25th October 2010

25 October 2010 the Victorian Forgotten Australians memorial was unveiled. Standing on Southbank Promenade, next to the river, created by artist Helen Bodycomb. The plaque accompanying the memorial reads as follows:

World within, world without (2010) by Helen Bodycomb

"Here we remember those thousands of children who were separated from their families and grew up or spent time in Victorian orphanages, children’s homes and foster homes last century. Many were frightened, abused and neglected. We acknowledge the many shattered lives and the courage and strength of those who survived. Unveiled 25th October 2010 and developed with the support of the Australian and Victorian Governments and the City of Melbourne.”

The unveiling was followed by an afternoon tea. The memorial recognises all Victorian Forgotten Australians who, as children, spent time in Victorian orphanages, children’s homes or foster care during the last century. It is a lasting recognition on the experiences of Forgotten Australians.


Western Australia 10 Dec 2010

10 December 2010 the Western Australian memorial to  the Forgotten Australians was unveiled. Standing on the grassed area in front of the Western Australian Museum’s Jubilee Building, Perth Cultural Centre, James Street, Perth. Created by local artist Judith Forrest, in collaboration with author Terri-ann White. Modelled on a children's fortune-telling game made of folded paper, it shows lines as if from an old exercise book.

The inscription reads:

This memorial is jointly funded by the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments and is dedicated to all Western Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children.

This memorial brings the “Forgotten Australians” out of the shadows and into the light.  Their most enduring legacy will be that the people now and in the future will know their stories and build upon them a platform for better care.

There is a strong thread that links the way a child is raised with the person they become in adulthood.  This memorial stands as a reminder of that thread to all who create policies that affect children.

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National Apology 16/11/2009

On the 16th of November 2009 the Australian Government delivered a National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants at a special remembrance event in Canberra .

An estimated 1000 Forgotten Australians were invited to Canberra to witness the event which was held in the Great Hall of Parliament House.