Monday, 30 April 2018

A story of British Home Children in just 20 objects nu 16 .......... Australia and other parts of the Commonwealth

The story of the children sent to Canada from the late 19th century into the early 20th has almost passed out of living memory, but those who went to Australia were still leaving our shores in the 1970s.*

These Australian stories are no less harrowing than those young people who travelled across the Atlantic.

This shabby little episode, this last flickering of a discredited policy in child care was exposed by Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker in the 1980s.

Her work in providing a history for all those Australians who grew up with no knowledge of a family in Britain or the circumstances which led to them being sent to Australia is documented in her book Empty Cradles which in turn became the film Oranges and Sunshine.**

Pictures, cover from the book Empty Cradles, and the film Oranges and Sunshine

*Growing up in Australia with no past, no family and just unanswered questions ..... Empty Cradles,

**Empty Cradles, was published in 1994. Its sales of 75,000 copies helped to fund the work of the Child Migrants Trust at a critical time when British government grants had been stopped. Empty Cradles has been dramatised as the 2011 feature film Oranges and Sunshine.

The Child Migrants Trust was established in 1987 by Margaret Humphreys CBE, OAM. It addresses the issues surrounding the deportation of children from Britain. In the post-war period, child migrants as young as three were shipped to Canada, New Zealand, the former Rhodesia and Australia, a practice that continued as late as 1970.

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