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Academic Books & Book Chapters

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Orphans of the Living: Growing Up in Care in Twentieth-Century Australia

Joanna Penglase


In August 2004, Parliamentary senators wept as they presented Forgotten Australians, the report from the Senate Inquiry into the treatment of children in care. Half a million children grew up in care in twentieth-century Australia, and most often these children lived with daily brutal physical and emotional abuse in the sterile environment of an institution. Drawing on interviews, submissions to the Senate Inquiry, and her own experience, Joanna Penglase describes, for the first time, the experience from the perspective of the survivors. With tenderness, compassion and intellect, Penglase begins to unravel the seemingly inexplicable: how and why did this happen. She looks not only at the profound personal costs to these children, but the huge social and economic costs of these past policies.

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