It is estimated that more than 100,000 children were placed in care in Victoria between 1928 and 2003. Forgotten Australians - a report on Australians who experienced institutional or out of home care as children is a 2004 federal report which reveals neglect, physical and sexual abuse and criminal assaults perpetrated on vulnerable children in care across Australia last century. These children did not have the benefit of growing up within their own family and some did not even know their family or the existence of other family members (including siblings) until they were adults.
- Forgotten Australians - a report on Australians who experienced institutional or out of home care as children (external site)
The Victorian Government response to the Forgotten Australians report recommendations was published in September 2009.
National Apology to Forgotten Australians and former Child Migrants
On 16 November 2009 at 11.00 am the then Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Kevin Rudd, issued a formal statement of acknowledgement and apology, on behalf of the nation, to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants concerning the abuse and neglect suffered by many children in institutional or other out-of-home care during the last century across Australia.
Victorian Forgotten Australians Memorial
A memorial for Forgotten Australians was unveiled on 25 October 2010 at Southbank as a lasting recognition of the experiences of care leavers.
Services and supports
Berry Street Victoria is funded by the Victorian Government to provide Open Place, a specialised support service for Victorian Forgotten Australians. Services include:
- Professional counselling for care leavers and their immediate families;
- Support with advocacy, applications, appointments and filling in forms;
- Referral to community services including health, housing, education and employment services;
- Search services to help former wards find their records and family members;
- Legal information about potential compensation claims and support during the claims process;
- Social support and Activity groups.
Family Information Networks and Discovery (FIND)
The FIND service is provided by the Department of Human Services to give assistance in searching for records and support for care leavers.
Find & Connect
Find & Connect is a website for people who were in out-of-home care as children in Victoria. It tells the story of institutional care in Victoria from its beginnings in the 1840s through to the present.
You can use Find & Connect to:
- read about and view images of orphanages, homes and other residences;
- track down records - where they are, who to contact and what to expect; and
- find out about key institutions, agencies, public figures, legislation and policies.
Care Leaver Australia Network (CLAN)
CLAN is a national network and advocacy group for care leavers.
The Child Migrants Trust
The Child Migrants Trust provides support for people who came to Australia as part of the British child migrant schemes after World War II. Services include help with finding records, counselling and support for family reunions.
169 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn, VIC 3122
Phone: (03) 9815 2022
Other Care Leaver Services
There are a number of other agencies that provide support to care leavers and these include:
Child and Family Services Ballarat
115 Lydiard Street, Ballarat 3350
Phone: (03) 5337 3333
34 Wurruk Avenue, Preston 3072
Phone: 1800 687 662 (free call) or (03) 9470 3477
British Child Migrants Trust
Tel: (03) 9347 7403
Child and Family Services Ballarat
Tel: (03) 5337 3333
1800 008 774
1300 769 926
Forgotten Australian Interim Service
Tel: (03) 9614 1577
MacKillop Family Services
Tel: (03) 9699 9177
Stolen Generation Victoria
Tel: (03) 9470 3477