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

National Museum of Australia Exhibition

Inside exhibition website

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

The Inside exhibition told some of the stories of those who experienced institutional care as children. It was a voice for those Australians and a chance for others to understand something of what their fellow Australians went through.

The exhibition included some of the stories, images, poetry, artwork, memories, sound and video contributed to the Inside blog.

Things that have come to us from past times help us tell stories from that time. Here are some objects that Care Leavers Australasia 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


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.