They were once forgotten children but Relationships Australia NT is hoping to bring locals who were raised in foster care and orphanages prior to the 1980s together.
More than half a million Australians spent time in orphanages, foster care, children’s homes and other institutions across the country from the late 1800’s to 1980’s, including some 7 000 children who were deported from the UK and Malta as child migrants.
Relationships Australia NT, in collaboration with Find and Connect Australia, is holding a social barbecue for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants and their friends and family at the East Point barbecues this Sunday from 5pm.
Relationships Australia NT Chief Executive Officer Marie Morrison said it was an opportunity for people to meet, share stories and support one another.
“Little is known or understood about the history of child welfare in Australia and it is important that people raised in out-of-home care are acknowledged and have their stories told,” Ms Morrison said.
“The barbeque will be an opportunity for everyone to come together, connect and support one another.”
Senate Inquiries in 2001, 2004 and 2009 highlighted that identity was a vital issue for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants and their families.
“Former Child Migrants were often deported and placed with charitable and religious organisations in Australia without their family’s consent or knowledge,” Ms Morrison said.
“Those children, who are now adults, tragically never saw their families again and all too frequently lost their connection to their country of origin and culture.
“But we’re here to help and support them on their journey and with moving forward.”
Relationships Australia NT provides counselling, Family Dispute Resolution (mediation), relationship courses and other services for people going through difficult times.
The Relationships Australia NT ‘Find and Connect BBQ’ is on this Sunday at the East Point Barbeques from 5pm.
For more information and a map of the site please visit www.nt.relationships.org.au