A big week of news
Last week’s news was dominated by the leadership ballot in Canberra on Monday 27 February. But it was also a week that saw the release of three reports by federal and state governments that are very relevant to the Find & Connect web resource.
On Tuesday 28 February, the Victorian Minister for Community Services the Hon. Mary Wooldridge tabled the report of the Protecting Victoria’s vulnerable children inquiry. This investigation of Victoria’s child protection system was announced in January 2011, and the inquiry received 225 written submissions as well as more than 80 supplementary submissions.
The wide-ranging report contained a section about ‘historical abuse’ of children by religious personnel in Victoria. CLAN (the Care Leavers of Australia Network) hailed the report as a breakthrough for Forgotten Australians.
Wednesday 29 February saw the tabling of the report of the Senate’s inquiry into forced adoption policies and practices.
Paul Howes (better known as the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union) wrote a piece in the weekend newspapers about his experiences as an adopted person searching for his birth mother, and the range of barriers, fees and frustration that people continue to face when they are searching for their records. We look forward to the government’s response to this report.
The big week in news wrapped up with the release of another report in Victoria, this time relating to an Ombudsman’s investigation into the storage and management of ward records by the Department of Human Services. The Ombudsman’s report went into detail about the problems faced by many former wards trying to access records held not only by the Department, but also by community service organisations (the majority of Victoria’s children’s homes were run by religious or charitable organisations until the 1950s).
This Find & Connect web resource provides a way for record-holding organisations, government and non-government, to communicate with forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants, and everyone who has been affected by policies relating to out-of-home ‘care’ – including adoption – to help people to find vital records and information about their past.