Tag Archives: Find & Connect

Grants for Documenting Care Leaver Records

Copy of a  Find & Connect  blog post announcing a new grants round by Genevieve Wauchope  |  RAD2 Grants Officer, Find & Connect project

A new round of the Records Access Documentation grants for organisations to document records relating to care leavers will open in October. Successful projects will be funded to $15 000.

The grants are being funded as part of the National Find and Connect services, to support eligible organisations to describe records relating to children living in ‘care’ during the 1920s-1980s. The purpose is to improve access for past care-leavers to records that have not yet been properly documented.

At the end of the projects, information about the records (not the records themselves) will be included on the Find & Connect website to assist Care Leavers and support services in finding out what documents exist and where they can be found. This will cut back on time and frustration spent trying to trace important records.

The RAD2 Grants Round has taken on feedback from the previous grants round in 2012 and made the application process easier and simpler. Applications will be online and will be open for longer. There is also a project officer based in the Find and Connect web resource team to help out along the way.

Workshops will be held around the country during the application period to discuss potential projects and help records holders decide if they want to apply.  We’ll also be hosting webinars as support for those who can’t attend a workshop in person.   Further workshops will be held in 2017 for successful grant applicants. If you’re interested in attending a workshop later this year, let us know by contacting rad-2@unimelb.edu.au. We’ll go where there’s the greatest demand, so don’t forget to get in touch! For places we can’t get to, we’ll run webinars, so no-one will miss out.

We’ll keep you updated on the blog as the workshops are scheduled and grant applications open. All the grant information will be available from the Find and Connect web resource once the application period opens.

Contact: T: +61 3 9035 8223  E: genevieve.wauchope@unimelb.edu.au   

www.findandconnect.gov.au  

The Paradox of Memorials for the Forgotten

A very interesting article on the Find & Connect blog about memorials around Australia to remember children who grew up in orphanages, children’s Home, and other institutions and in foster ‘care’. (Read it here

This blog post  raises again the issue I’ve written about before: is the label ‘Forgotten Australians’ any longer appropriate? Isn’t there an inherent contradiction being played out with memorials for forgotten people?

Consider these quotes from the various plaques:

  • “For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known, neither was anything made secret out that it should come to light.” (Queensland).
  • “We remember the lonely, the frightened, the lost, the abused…” (NSW)
  • “To those who succumbed to harsh punishments meted out by a severe system we remember you.” (Tasmania)
  • “Here we remember those thousands of children who were separated from their families…” (Victoria)
  • “This memorial brings the “Forgotten Australians” out of the shadows and into the light. Their most enduring legacy will be that the people now and in the future will know their stories and build upon them a platform for better care.”
  • “We are no longer forgotten.” (SA)

Does the last quote cap it off? How long can we go on calling ourselves ‘Forgotten’?

If you want better descriptions for these former residents of institutions, you need look no further than the plaques themselves.

On the inscriptions I find words like ‘lonely’, ”neglected’, ‘frightened’ or ‘abused’. Looking for more positive or self-assertive attributes, on the inscriptions  I find words like ‘determination’, ‘courage’, ‘strength’, and ‘resilience’.

Is it time for a re-think by those who still call us ‘Forgotten Australians’?

Detail of the South Australian memorial.
Detail of the South Australian memorial.
The plaque at the Tasmanian Rose Garden
The plaque at the Tasmanian Rose Garden
Mosaic artist, Helen Bodycomb, putting the finishing touches to the Victorian memorial at Castlemaine
Mosaic artist, Helen Bodycomb, putting the finishing touches to the Victorian memorial at Castlemaine

(Photos Frank Golding)