Featuring the words, voices and objects of the Forgotten Australians and all those who experienced institutional care as children, this exhibition provides a chance for all Australians to understand something of a history that has affected so many of us and was hidden for so long.
Throughout Australia, over the course of the 20th century, about half a million children spent time in Children's Homes, orphanages, training schools, reformatories and other 'care' institutions. Of the 500,000 children in these institutions, about a tenth were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children. A smaller number, about 7000, were British and Maltese child migrants. Only a tiny minority were orphans. Some children spent a relatively short time in these places while others spent their entire childhood 'inside'.
Finally, the histories of those who spent time 'inside' — histories for so long unspoken, unheard or disbelieved — are becoming an acknowledged part of our national history.
This exhibition was promised to the nation in the National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants delivered by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 16 November 2009 in Canberra.
For some, government apologies are just words.For others, they have great meaning.
Please note that this exhibition contains confronting and disturbing content, and names and images of deceased people. It may not be suitable for children under 15 years.
Inside: Life in Children's Homes and Institutions is a travelling exhibition developed and presented by the National Museum of Australia and supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services