Helping Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants trace their past
The Hon. Jenny Macklin Minister for Family, Communities and Indigenous Affairs
28th June 2012
Updated 2nd July 2012
Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants will get more help to access their personal records and reconnect with family where possible, with more than $380,000 in additional funding from the Gillard Government.
As part of the Find and Connect Records Access project, 29 non-government organisations across Australia will each receive up to $15,000 so they can properly index and document their records to improve accessibility for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
These organisations will sort through more than 140,000 records and more than 4,000 photographs relating to children placed in non-government homes, orphanages and other forms of out-of-home care last century.
Records could include admission and discharge registers, personal files and other information that may shed new light on personal histories and help to piece together childhoods.
The project is expected to take 12 months to complete, before the records and photographs are made available free of charge to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
The Government recognises that for many people who were placed in out-of-home care last century, not being able to access personal records has been a real barrier to helping them to trace their past and establish their own identity.
Many who grew up in institutional and foster care have experienced feelings of loss and abandonment that have remained with them throughout their lives.
This new project builds on the support already available to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, including the Find and Connect web resource, www.findandconnect.gov.au, which brings together historical resources relating to the experiences of children in institutional care in Australia.
The national apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants in 2009, delivered by the Australian Government on behalf of the nation, acknowledged the abuse and neglect that many experienced, and was an important step in the healing process.
The Find and Connect Records Access project is another way the Government can provide practical support to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, to help heal the legacy of the trauma and loneliness of lost childhoods.
Organisations receiving funding