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National Museum of Australia tells the story of life in Children’s Homes and Institutions

An exhibition at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra will go behind the gates of Australia’s Children’s Homes and Institutions in the 20th Century and find the voices of the children who lived under institutional care. Exhibition on view through 26 February, 2012.

Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions tells the stories of about half a million Australians who lived in about 800 Children’s Homes or Institutions, experiences which failed to make it into our national narrative because they were often stifled, ignored or disbelieved.

“The National Museum of Australia has a role to tell all our important stories, including stories that weigh heavily on our national conscience. The voices in this exhibition come through loud and clear; these are stories that should be heard by all Australians,” said Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

For many of the children, for good or for bad, although they left the Homes, the Homes never left them. Their experience remains part of who they are and affects them for the rest of their lives. Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions gives visitors a chance to understand very different childhoods experienced by many of their fellow Australians.

The stories told in the exhibition come from the children who lived in the Homes and Institutions, their voices are at the core of the exhibition. The exhibition covers personal stories and experiences at a time within living memory – from the 1920s to the 1980s.

Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions was made possible by the support and guidance of the Alliance of Forgotten Australians, Care Leavers of Australia Network, The International Association of Child Migrants and their Families, the Child Migrant Trust and other support and advocacy organisations.

The National Museum acknowledges the support of the Australian Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

For information about public programs associated with the exhibition visit:

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