Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Forgotten Aussie tells of state care abuse

Caroline Carroll remembers being given meals furred with mould during a childhood spent in state care after she was given up as a baby.
The memory haunts the woman who grew up in institutions and foster homes in NSW in the 1950s and 60s, leaving her with a horror of some foods.
Ms Carroll was one of half a million children put in orphanages and state care across Australia last century.
She spent a hellish childhood in six institutions and five foster homes.
"I had one meal given to me for about a week till it had fur on it. Nothing else was given to you. The same meal put in front of you every day," she told AAP on Friday.
"I had real issues with food. I still do."


Recitations of 'sorry' are no help to this survivor

Fifteen-year-old Jason spent his days at Osler House at Wolston Park lying on a mattress, suffering from a muscle wasting disease which had left him little movement and unable to talk.
“One day, a nurse went past and Jason wanted to go to the toilet,” Sue Treweek, who would spend eight years in the same ward after being placed there as a 15-year-old in 1980, said.
“I was only about eight feet away from him and he brushed the nurse’s pants with his hand and the nurse has turned around with his steel capped boots and kicked Jason’s teeth out of his head, literally. He smashed this little boy’s teeth. They didn’t get a doctor to him for a few days and the next thing I remember is these people in suits and his mother, they all came and they took him out of there. But they would have told him that a patient beat him, they wouldn’t have said a nurse beat him.”

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Sandra's story one of pain, despair and hope

At 15 years old, Sandra Robinson had escaped from every institution and home the state government had placed her.
She was rewarded with a place inside Ward Eight of Wolston Park Hospital, which in 1967 was where Queensland placed adults judged to be criminally insane.
Falsely accused of swallowing a needle, Ms Robinson was transferred to Wolston Park after spending weeks in solitary confinement at another institution.
During the 12 months she spent there before escaping, Ms Robinson said she experienced and was witnessed to unspeakable horror.

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Come clean on chambers of horrors, sufferers plead

As the Queensland government embarks on its third inquiry into the protection of children under state care, abuse victims wonder when their hell will be acknowledged, writes Amy Remeikis.

Adults who were admitted into Queensland adult psychiatric asylums while they were children between the 1950s and the 1980s have called for a separate inquiry into the abuse, torture and neglect they suffered inside the institutional walls.

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Women crucified for the sins of the fathers: Censorship and the crucifixion motif in the art of Rachael Romero

Wednesday 12 September 2012 4:15-5:30pm

School of History Seminar Series

Adele Chynoweth, Visitor, School of History, ANU

McDonald Room Menzies Library, ANU

In this seminar, which is comprised of two parts, Dr Adele Chynoweth will present her paper Art has always saved me: The crucifixion motif in the work of Rachael Romero accepted for the Religion, Nature and Art conference at the Missionary Ethnological Museum of the Vatican Museums in October 2011. However, the presentation was censored by the Director of the Vatican Museums 24 hours before its scheduled presentation. Dr Chynoweth will, through an application of feminism and cultural hybridity, analyse the Vatican’s censorship of her presentation.

In the second part, Dr Chynoweth will present her scheduled Vatican conference paper in full. Dr Chynoweth will note the problem in privileging the postcolonial gaze, evident in consensus history’s understanding of institutionalised children in twentieth century Australia.

Rachael Romero is one of over 400,000 non-Indigenous Australian, known as the ‘Forgotten Australians’, who, as children, were institutionalised in Australia. At the age of 20, as an art activist, Romero co-founded the San Francisco Poster Brigade (1975-1983). Her work from this period was recently exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Through a feminist analysis, Dr Chynoweth will present Romero’s recent series of drawings comprising The Magdalene Diaries which serve as a historical record of the systematised factory-like conditions of the Magdalene laundries, in which ‘fallen’ teenage girls were forced to labour under the direction of the Order of the Good Shepherd within the Catholic Church.
School of History Seminar Series

Dr Adele Chynoweth was a curator for the exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions at the National Museum of Australia and is currently a visitor at ANU’s School of History.
Magdalene Laundry, © Rachael Romero (2011)
ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
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