Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, and Assistant Minister for Children & Families, Michelle Landry, today acknowledged the ninth anniversary of the National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.
“The anniversary is an important date for our nation as it is a reminder of the experiences of the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, and the issues they face as a result of their time spent in out-of-home care,” Mr Fletcher said.
More than 500,000 Forgotten Australians, also known as care leavers, were placed in children’s homes, orphanages and other forms of out‑of-home care before the end of 1989.
Approximately 7,000 Former Child Migrants arrived in Australia as children and were subsequently placed in homes and orphanages through historical child migration schemes.
“For many, the loss of their family, their identity and, in the case of Former Child Migrants, their country, was made worse by experiences of abuse and neglect,” said Mr Fletcher.
“Today reminds us that we need to do more to ensure the safety, security and stability of all children and that we must do all that we can to make certain we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past,” Ms Landry said.
Support is available to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants through the Australian Government’s Find and Connect Support Services.
Find and Connect Support Services include specialised counselling, referral services, peer and social support programs, and help to locate and access records and, where possible, reconnect with family members. People can call 1800 16 11 09 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) or go to www.findandconnect.gov.au.
Additional support is available to those who experienced institutional child sexual abuse through the Redress Support Services under the National Redress Scheme.