Qantas Founders Museum
9 April 2018
Without Consent reveals the truth of Australia’s past
A new exhibition Without Consent: Australia’s past adoption practices, will be exhibited at Qantas Founders Museum from 21 April to 29 July 2018, bringing to light a previously hidden aspect of Australia’s past.
The exhibition, which was curated by the National Archives of Australia, has offered those affected by forced adoptions the opportunity to share their experiences – some for the first time ever. It is estimated that at least 150,000 adoptions took place from the 1950s to the 1970s; a significant number of them were forced adoptions. Many of the women who had their babies taken were unmarried and, because of the stigma attached to unmarried mothers at the time, were often forced to live a lie for decades. For some, it was a secret they took to their graves.
The National Archives curated the exhibition and developed a website, following former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s national apology to those affected by forced adoptions in 2013. The exhibition aims to show the truth – that the babies taken for adoption were dearly loved and wanted by their parents.
One letter in the exhibition, from a mother to her son, read ‘I loved you so much it hurt, and I loved you much more than I loved myself; that was why I was prepared to sacrifice my happiness for yours’.
The exhibition is a tribute to the courage and generosity of those who volunteered to share their experiences and, in doing so, exposed this aspect of Australia’s history.
The companion website can be viewed at http://forcedadoptions.naa.gov.au/
Without Consent: Australia’s past adoption practices can be seen at Qantas Founders Museum until 29 July 2018.
The exhibition will be launched with a free morning tea at 10.30am on Saturday 21 April 2018.
NOTICE TO EDITOR: High-res images can be downloaded from http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/media/images/without-consent/index.aspx
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