Gold Cards for Forgotten Australians!

For a long time Forgotten Australians have been asking for a Gold Card.

Here’s why.

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.

Minister for Health Response

Minister for Health Response. p.2

cheers

Sylvia

2 thoughts on “Gold Cards for Forgotten Australians!

  1. So what does that mean .are the forgotten Australians ever going to be remembered .most are traumatized an relive things over an over again always have the past that haunted them sometimes your just sitting there an things start to go through your head speaking from my own experience .I used to sit there watching other kids and there family wishing I had a family like that or an aunty or uncle who cared enough for us not to have to go through the things we did .how I just wanted a normal life just like the other families .I live with things every day .I have a sister who looked after me cause I was just a child but so was she it broke my sister she grew up fast an mum an dad no where around so she would try to look after me as best she could she was robbed of her childhood an so was I an my other siblings .some days I could call my sister an she is hurt inside I know she not angry at me cause she missed out on being a child she is hurting an still it up sets my sister to this day .the trauma never stops the broken parts can never be put back together even when we try it’s just never the same again it’s like getting a perfect peace of paper then grab the paper screw it up an then try an lay the paper straight like you did when you first got it .you can’t it’s got crinkles through the whole peace the paper is never the same again . traumatic experience change people an it changes there life’s for ever nothing is ever the same again .the government need to stop talking about all this an do something the actually helps forgotten Australians .Stop forgetting .talk less an do more they had there rights taken away .we can’t give them back but what you can do is try an right past wrongs by being understanding stop turning a blind eye .they are kids still to this day who are treated by by family services break the cycle stop letting cares abuse there rights stop letting the next generation of children go through things alone in there life listen to the little voices as they are our future .we are all important as the person standing next to us people need to stop turning a blind eye an letting this keep going on . Stand up for the ones who can’t stand up for there self make your wrongs right or at least try too .not by just talking about all this but by doing something to change it .half the people I speak to have never heard of forgotten Australians . . .

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  2. Thank you so much for your comment, Cheryl. The group Formerly in Children’s Homes (1990 – 1993) had many people expressing similar views. Tragically, despite all the government inquiries and talk, nothing much has changed. It is such a terrible situation that even though I did not grow up in care myself, I see myself as a member of a ForgottenAustralianFamily.

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