Skip to content
A field of yellow flowers

Apology to the forgotten Australians

Apology to the Forgotten Australians who were in Melbourne City Mission’s Care

Melbourne City Mission apologises unreservedly for any harm, distress, or hurt that may have occurred to children and young people while in the care of its institutions and other out of home care facilities (see Note 1).

The ‘Forgotten Australians’ Senate Inquiry has shown that life in institutional care was often bleak and caused lifelong pain and difficulties for many careleavers.

Melbourne City Mission deeply regrets any abuse, neglect, or lack of appropriate care and nurture of children in its care.

We accept that some children did not receive the love, nurturing, and care to which they were so rightly entitled.

Melbourne City Mission encourages past care leavers who wish to discuss their experience with our services to make contact with us.

We are committed to support care leavers to tell their story, recover their history or find supports that may be needed.

Note 1: Melbourne City Mission was responsible for an adoption service, Hartnett House, which included a children’s home and, later, family group homes; the Elizabeth Fry Retreat, a hostel for young women, later called Swinborn Lodge, and Southport which offered adolescent community placements.

Heritage Service

Melbourne City Mission’s Heritage Service supports people who have left care to gather records and historical material.

We can support you if you are a past user of Melbourne City Mission’s out of home services for children, maternity and adoption service.

What support does this service provide?

Many events of the last century led to children being separated from their parents, such as poverty, wars, lack of family services, and different attitudes to the birth of children outside marriage.

People who have left care may have mixed feelings about their experiences or want to understand more about what happened to them and why. Some people who have left care feel hurt and angry.

Getting information, and telling one’s story can be helpful at times.

The Heritage Service is gathering historical records and memorabilia that help provide background and context for the experiences of people who have left care.

Few Melbourne City Mission personal records are available, although the Department of Human Services Adoptions and Family Records Unit holds Melbourne City Mission’s adoptions records.

Get in touch with us


Back to top