badges from Morialta Homes baby doll dressed in white wool suitcase badges from Roslyn Hall Children's Home, Murray Dwyer Boys Orphanage, Protestant Homes Booklet from Burwood Boys' Home – 'Valuable Household Hints' ceramic elephant with broken trunk canvas shoes

Exhibition at the National Museum of Australia


New online exhibition released 16 November 2012


Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions was on show
16 November 2011 to 26 February 2012 at the National
Museum of Australia in Canberra.

The Inside exhibition tells some of the stories of those who experienced institutional care as children. It will be a voice for those Australians and a chance for others to understand something of what their fellow Australians went through. Find out more.

The Inside blog has contributed stories, images, poetry, artwork, memories, sound and video. It will be featured in the exhibition.

Things that have come to us from past times help us tell stories from that time. Here are some objects that Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) has collected to remember the experiences of the Forgotten Australians. Other items from the CLAN Museum are also on this website.

Click to enlarge the images.

Sign saying 'Visitors are requested not to touch the babies'
Sign from the Methodist Babies Home
Towel printed with the words 'BOX HILL BOY'S HOME'
Towel from the Salvation Army Box Hill Boys Home
Bell with a tag on it saying 'CHURCH OF ENGLAND GIRLS HOME BURWOOD NSW'
Bell from the Church of England Girls Home

Your story

Do you have a story to tell? Do you have an object that you could lend to the Museum to help us tell your story?

(Please note that if you are considering taking legal action relating to your time in care, you might seek legal advice before sharing your story.)

We are collecting stories on the exhibition site, Inside: Life in Children's Homes.


From Forgotten Australians:

All I am asking ... is to take a good look at your neighbour, your workmate, the postman, your paymaster. Are they ex-state wards? What are their pains and dark thoughts that need to be expressed [that they] need help in?


From Lost Innocents:

What is the truth? The fact that we were nobodies robots to the agendas of others.