For a long time Forgotten Australians have been asking for a Gold Card.
FAs do not dispute that returned service men and women deserve a Gold Card. The government rightly recognizes the sacrifice these citizens have made, by ensuring that especially as they age, their needs are remembered, and met, to a higher degree than say, ‘ordinary’ age pensioners. But what about people whose lives were blighted, not by combat in a foreign country, but by genocidal cruelty wrought on them as children, by their own State?
State-sanctioned fracturing of families has lifelong consequences.
It makes no sense for the Minister for Health to propose to Forgotten Australians who are not indigenous that their needs can be met by the inadequate and irrelevant services mentioned in the correspondence below. Why exactly does the Minister believe that Find and Connect services and those offering connecting kin services have any relevance at all for many non-indigenous Forgotten Australians? Of all the married couples I’ve known in my life, Mr and Mrs Bateman appear to be on speaking terms with all their kids, something many of us who weren’t in Homes could not claim. Forgotten Australians and their families are well aware of kinship issues. But the issues they face every day are about BEING FORGOTTEN.
They are especially FORGOTTEN, in fact may have never been known in the first place, by health professionals. Without (probably) being deliberately malicious, these health professionals routinely misdiagnose FAs and further marginalise them.
Today’s health workers simply don’t know what a non-indigenous orphanage survivor, or survivor of forced adoptions, or another survivor of institutional abuse, looks like.
When Forgotten Australians present at Emergency Departments, the first thing some of them will say is “I was abused by Church and State”. If you work in health, and a person says this to you, please add your voice to this campaign to shine a light on the misery suffered by Forgotten Australian families.
Being abused by an institution is different to being abused by a family member. It is worse. I’m sorry, but there it is.
The inadequate response received by the Batemans is published below this post. FAs and their families ask governments to recognize the distinct problems faced by ALL Forgotten Australians.
Non-indigenous FAs are different from the indigenous. Yes, problems facing First Australians are in most cases worse. But this fact should not continue to make all the others invisible!
Where are the services and funding designed specifically for FAs who are still having to rely on partners and family for unpaid care? This care should be their right, for having their childhoods destroyed.
Where are the research grants to discover the long-term outcomes all FAs know anyway?
How much more likely is an FA to end up in jail or a psychiatric institution?
We don’t know. Nobody is doing the research. Until it happens, FAs will continue to receive answers like the one received by Mrs Bateman and her husband; pathetic responses that have no bearing on the daily misery FAs face as they grow older and sicker.
Until something is done about this tragic situation, many more FAs will die in despair, their cries for recognition, to not be FORGOTTEN, unheard by those in power.