CEHM, what's been and what's to come.

Guest Post: Kayt McGeary & Dee Michell
Global Steering Committee (AU), Care Experienced History Month 2021

It’s been a whirlwind first half of the first-ever Care Experienced History Month (CEHM)!

We began the month with the launch of the international website https://www.careexperiencedhistorymonth.org/ On the page for Australia you will find a summary of the history of care here, a list of support services should they be needed, and an explanation of what we mean by “Care Experience” since it is not a term common in Australia.

Each day we have been featuring stories on social media of Care Experienced Australians. We started the month with Jodie Gaffney who grew up with her grandmother in the town of Bourke, NSW, a tough town that Jodie left at the age of 17 to attend university and change her life—which she has done. On April 2, we honoured Charlie Walker who died this year. Charlie liked to be called Charlie the Ratbag; he was abandoned and raised in orphanages from when he was only 4 days old. Charlie raised 4 daughters on his own after his wife died and later in life became a “government agitator” on behalf of Forgotten Australians. For more stories, see https://www.facebook.com/CEHMAU and if you’d like to nominate someone or contribute a story (200 words, photo optional) please write to us at info.cehm.au@gmail.com

Australians are also being featured on the international website, including CEHM international steering group member Kayt McGeary, cultural icon Smoky Dawson, and the first premier of South Australia, Boyle Travers Finniss. These Australians are in excellent company, with Simone Biles—the USA’s most decorated gymnast—presented along with English computer pioneer, Alan Turing—now the face of the new £50 note—and others.

There have been online lectures to attend, with one given by Dr Robin Sen (University of Dundee) on the UK’s children migration scheme after 1945 on 8 April, and on 11 April, Rosie Canning and Dee Michell launched their Care Experience & Culture website, a digital archive of literature, films/television, art by and about Care Experienced People.

On Thursday 15 April we hosted the first Care Experienced History Month Australian Online Symposium, with presenters from across the country talking on a range of topics, including how to collect and display the history of Care Experienced people, and how we can learn from the past to better prepare Care Experienced people of all ages for the future. You can watch the symposium sessions here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuVNfn0jYWCyALtjs68Bf6g 

Friday 16 April saw the start of the ‘Gen-X Reflects’ series streaming LIVE via our CEHMAU Facebook page. Visit our social media pages for more details.

Coming up on 19 April is an online Arts Workshop. Who Cares? Scotland and Impact Arts are teaching participants to make a luminaire for use on the International Care Experienced Day of Remembrance on April 30.

We’ll be finishing the month with the International Day of Remembrance. You can join this international social media campaign by downloading and posting the bridge symbol to your social media accounts. 

From May, we will be seeking volunteers for the Australian Steering Committee for Care Experienced History Month 2022. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact us at info.cehm.au@gmail.com.