Media release: Thursday, 25 September 2014
Darwin people affected by forced adoptions are invited to share a cuppa with National Archives staff at the Northern Territory Archives Centre in early October and learn more about the Forced Adoptions History Project.
'We'd like people to come along and learn more about the project,' said Shaun Rohrlach, Director of Access Programs at the National Archives of Australia. 'Guests can ask questions and, if they wish, can share their thoughts. This is an inclusive project enabling a personal choice for individuals as to how they would like to be involved.
'We decided to have informal gatherings, so people feel more comfortable. It's an opportunity to meet other people who may have experienced similar situations, or simply sit and listen to what the project hopes to achieve. Friends and families of those affected are also welcome to attend.'
Many Australian women were forced to give up their babies in the period between 1950 and 1975. The impact of such experiences was formally acknowledged on 21 March 2013 when former Prime Minister Julia Gillard extended a national apology to all people affected – mothers, adopted persons, fathers and other family members. The Forced Adoptions History Project launched a website on the first anniversary of the apology, and is creating an exhibition to mark the second anniversary. The project aims to increase awareness and understanding of forced adoptions in Australia through the website and the upcoming exhibition.
'The National Archives doesn't hold adoption records but, because forced adoption affects people Australia-wide, we are in an ideal position to manage the project,' said Shaun Rohrlach. 'We would like people to note that this project is separate from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and from the various inquiries and responses to Stolen Generations in the Northern Territory. People affected by forced adoptions are both Indigenous and non–Indigenous and might also have experienced institutional care.'
National Archives staff will be offering a cuppa at the Northern Territory Archives Centre, Kelsey Crescent, Millner on Thursday 2 October (from 10.30am to 12.30 pm and from 2pm to 4pm) and Friday 3 October (10.30am to 12.30 pm). Anyone who is interested in joining them can just come along or learn more by emailing email@example.com or by calling (02) 6212 3669. The website forcedadoptions.naa.gov.au provides further information on the Forced Adoptions History Project.