Following the national apology by former prime minister Julia Gillard on 21 March 2013, the National Archives has established a project team to deliver a website, exhibition and education program that meets the objectives of:
In working on these developments, the Archives is conscious of the very personal and emotional nature of these experiences, which former prime minister Julia Gillard described as having contributed to 'a lifelong legacy of pain and suffering' for many Australians.
We want to ensure that what is created reflects the diversity of experiences in a respectful and thoughtful manner. This web page is a first point-of-contact and a space for initial Expressions of Interest and input to the website. All submissions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The information provided will only be used in relation to the Archives Forced Adoptions History Project. No information received will be passed on to other parties.
We are very interested to hear from you if you have, in any way, been affected by the practices and policies of forced adoption in Australia. Information shared will be handled in the strictest confidence. Your contribution will help the Archives prepare the website and exhibition. Please outline interest in the Archives’ Forced Adoptions History Project via the Expression of Interest form.
The website to be launched in March 2014 will become a repository of memory, record and experience of those affected by forced adoption policies and practices in Australia. We hope the website will allow further sharing of experiences about forced adoption in Australia.
We hope to include a number of diverse mediums such as personal narratives, photographs, artworks, song lyrics, social documents and other records – submissions people believe will contribute to a deeper understanding in the Australian community of this issue.
The Forced Adoptions History Project team has ideas about what the website could include but we are keen to have your views also. All submissions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The information provided will only be used in relation to the Archives Forced Adoptions History Project. No information received will be passed on to other parties. Please share your thoughts on the Website content: what would you like to see? form.
An exhibition curated by the Archives will follow in 2015. The main focus will be to increase awareness of forced adoption in Australia. It will be launched at the Archives in Canberra, and tour a number of regions around the country.
Every narrative offered to the Archives is important; each person or group will receive a response. However, it should be understood that due to the anticipated interest in the project, not every submission will become a feature in the exhibition.
An important part of the Archives project’s role will be to produce an educational resource to build a deeper understanding of the forced adoption experience. This resource will be available online for the Australian community including secondary school students, with links to the Australian Curriculum.
In addition to the Archives projects, the federal departments – Social Services and also Health and Ageing – are developing policies and programs to assist those affected by past forced adoption practices.
The Federal Government has provided funding to improve access to specialist support and records tracing, as well as additional funding so that mental health professionals can better assist in caring for those affected by forced adoption.
The Archives will work closely with the Past Forced Adoptions Implementation Working Group, and in other opportunities for consultation.
Adjunct Professor Nahum Mushin has been appointed Chair of the Working Group, which has been established to guide the delivery of the Government’s commitments in relation to past forced adoption practices.
The Archives is endeavouring to produce an informative website and exhibition. We ask for your patience as the Forced Adoptions History Project team works to create these projects for you to share your experience. All submissions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The information provided will only be used in relation to the Archives Forced Adoptions History Project. No information received will be passed on to other parties.