Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 17.01.12 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 17 2012 - 10
HCW1104063. CRICOS No. 00001K JANUARY 2012
Wednesday 1 February, 5.00pm -- 7.00pm
Room A22, Block A, CIT Bruce Campus, Haydon Drive, Bruce.
Workplace. Online. Campus.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
CONSIDERING MASSAGE AS A CAREER?
Museum explores the lives of once forgotten Aussies
MEMBER FOR FRASER
HUGH MCGOWAN was born to a
single mother in Scotland. Lacking any
support, she gave him up to a boys'
home in Glasgow. One day the
children were asked if they wanted to
go to Australia. Twelve-year-old Hugh
initially agreed, but then changed his
mind and told the ''cottage father'' he
didn't want to go. He still remembers
the reply: ''Too bad, you're going.''
Hugh is one of half a million
Forgotten Australians, who were ra-
ised in institutional homes. I met him
at the National Museum of Australia's
exhibition, Inside: Life in Children's
Homes and Institutions, where he
showed me through the gallery and
told me his story. Hugh told me that
there was a lack of warmth -- tough
physical labour, corporal punishment,
and sometimes even sexual abuse. And
at the harshest of times, Hugh said,
there was never a father to gently put
his arms around you.
If you don't gasp a few times when
going through the exhibition, you're
not looking hard enough. A video
depicts young children at Bindoon in
Western Australia doing dangerous
jobs like blacksmithing and tiling. A
hand-drawn map of the layout of
Bentleigh Children Home in Victoria
shows red crosses where terrified
children would hide to avoid abuse. An
official sign from another home tells
visitors that they are not to hold the
Institutions were sometimes run by
well-meaning people, but even then
vital parts of childhood could be lost.
Ryszard Szablicki said that some time
after he left the Melbourne orphanage
where he grew up he heard ''people
standing singing around a cake that
had candles stuck in it. I didn't even
know what was going on.''
As another boy said of the institu-
tions, only ''intermittent humanity was
In 2009, former Prime Minister
Kevin Rudd offered a national apology
to the Forgotten Australians. Mr Rudd
admitted, ''whatever I might say
today, the truth is, I cannot give you
back your childhood ... But what I can
do with you is celebrate the spirit that
has lived within you over the
He promised that the Australian
Government would help trace lost
families, provide counselling, and hold
this exhibition at the National
So if you have a spare hour this
summer, head down to the National
Museum of Australia, and help ensure
that the Forgotten Australians become
''the remembered Australians''.
Andrew Leigh is the federal member
for Fraser, and his website is
The National Museum's exhibition
Inside: Life in Children's Homes and
Institutions runs until February 26.
Laughter sounds again at Flynn
Children enjoy their first day at Flynn Early Childhood Education Centre. Pictured from rear left are Alex Bridges and
Michayla De Wet; front Tayah Johnston, Navya Rajput and Nadya Prasad.
Picture: Andrew Babington
Early childhood centre opens
FOR the first time in more than
five years, the sound of chil-
dren's laughter can be heard
coming from Flynn Primary
Flynn Early Childhood Edu-
cation Centre -- the amalgama-
tion of North Belconnen Com-
munity Association's Alkira
Community Childcare Centre
and Gumnut Place Childcare --
opened its doors on the former
school site yesterday.
The 115-place centre is part
of the ACT Government's
$8 million redevelopment of
the site into a community hub.
Centre director Annette
Coleman said it was great to
see many years of planning
come to fruition.
She said many of the cen-
tre's clients came from the
"We've been able to take
many off our waiting list and
most of them have come from
the Flynn suburb, we didn't
plan it that way, that's just how
it happened," she said.
"Obviously this was not just
something needed in the area,
it was desperately needed in
Flynn is situated between
Charnwood and Evatt, where
the previous childcare centres
"It's going to be very con-
venient for a lot of families,"
Ms Coleman said.
"I think it's important we
still maintain our client base."
Minister for Community
Services Joy Burch said the
childcare centre exceeded all
national quality standards and
featured landscaped and shad-
ed garden areas for the chil-
the centre in the years to
come," she said.
"It's a great facility that will
provide a safe and enjoyable
environment where local chil-
dren will blossom."
The Government has wor-
ked with the school's original
architect to ensure that the
refurbishment blends in with
the original 1970s structure.
"We have worked closely
with the community to under-
stand their needs for the site
and the message, in terms of
aesthetics, that has come acro-
ss very clearly is that they
wanted the historical value and
character of the former Flynn
Primary School to be retain-
ed," Ms Burch said.
Refurbishment of the
remainder the site, which is
expected to house a com-
munity hall, a community gar-
den and a cafe, should be
completed within the next six
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