Caroline Carroll is the current Chairperson of the Alliance for Forgotten Australians. She was made a ward of the state and placed in Bidura Children's Home at the age of 14 months.
In this interview Caroline Carroll talks about her earliest memories of being in care; her foster care placements, foster parents, foster siblings, abuse, religion, attending school; the child welfare system; Bidura Children's Home, the dormitories, schooling, the numbers of children, bathing, hair washing, treatment for lice, clothing, the loss of personal possessions, intimidation, chores, health care, dental care, castor oil and food; medical examinations; moving to King Edward Girls Home in Newcastle, the ages of the girls, attending school, routines, assemblies, basic chores; absconding; moving to Lynwood Hall at Guilford, N.S.W., her arrival; dormitories and bathrooms, chores, food, cooking verbal abuse, neglect and punishments; staff; a Lynwood Hall, reunion; coping mechanisms; life as a state ward; friendships; her welfare files; learning about family, letters from mother on file; meeting her brother and parents for the first time.
Carroll discusses leaving Lynwood Hall, for boarding house accommodation, with no possessions; her first job: her first relationship with a boy; her working life; moving to country N.S.W., living with brother; challenges of living outside of the institution; her marriage, husband's background and her children; the breakdown of her marriage; learning about the formation of Care Leavers Of Australia Network (CLAN) in 2000; finding her sister though Jigsaw; her role as Melbourne CLAN contact; Vanish, its role, joining the management committee as state ward representative; her advocacy role; the Senate Inquiry (2004) and the recommendations; working at Open Place; the National conference of Forgotten Australians and the formation of the Alliance; taking on the role of Chair of the Alliance, the make-up of Steering committee and Advisory group; her involvement with the Advisory group for developing the National Apology; the National Apology.
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