In 2021, the blog has brought you more stories from people who experienced care as a child. A major focus of Find & Connect is to centre the voice of people who were in care, and the blog gives us a great opportunity to do that.
We’d like to thank everyone who submitted a story to the blog – we appreciate the opportunity to share your perspectives, stories, work and passion with everyone, and we also learn a lot ourselves. You can read some of these posts here:
• Own Your Story, Own Your Mob, Mob Owns You – Re-authoring the colonial archive
• Care Experienced History Month
• Remembering a survivor of institutional abuse
We also want to thank everyone who has commented on the blog, or contacted us privately as a result of a post. We look forward to hearing your opinions on what we’ve published, and also appreciate the stories you’ve shared.
The influenza pandemic was certainly a problem for children in orphanages, but it was also a problem for many who served in the First World War. Bertie Cooper and Ivo Bibby were two former Ballarat Orphanage boys who were extra keen to be involved in the War, like the 100 or so other boys from the Orphanage. The problem was that Bertie and Ivo were too young. It was not until the War was almost finished that they were finally accepted—now both just 19…Frank Golding, commenting on Spanish flu
This year, we’ve also been planning a major overhaul of the website findandconnect.gov.au. We’ve taken on board all the feedback received about the site, and are moving the now outdated site design to a newer, more intuitive user interface.If you offered to do usability testing when we first asked back in 2019, we’ll be in touch in the new year.
Meanwhile, we’ve made some changes to the existing site and simplified the way information is categorised to make it easier to find different types of Homes.
We’ve worked with people who were in care, and organisations, to update the information we have on institutions, including:
• Sandhurst Boys’ Home
• Lutanda Children’s Home, Lutanda Children’s Services and Camp Toukley
• Church of England Homes for Children
These updates are the result of people contacting us through the feedback email and providing photos or information that we can then add to the page.
We’ve also added additional institutions to the site this year, including
• Clifden Children’s Home, Wedderburn and Clifden Farm and Try Boys Home, Wedderburn & St Andrews
• St Mary’s Hostel, Geelong
If memory serves me right we had Xmas dinner, at Durella where the adults played tennis while we kids swam, ate till we could eat no more, and generally had a Xmas of all our Xmases…Wayne Lewis, Christmas at “Home”
For an idea of what Christmas in care was like for children, we’ve been fortunate to have stories about this time of year told by people by people who experienced just that.
You can read their stories here:
• Christmas at “Home”
• Holidays out of Home