Forgotten Australians (Unfolding Lives Sculpture) Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The monument commemorates the tens of thousands of West Australians who were abused as children while in state care. More than 50,000 'forgotten Australians' are commemorated.

The monument  was jointly funded by the Western Australian and Federal governments. It was created by local artist Judith Forrest, in collaboration with author Terri-ann White. Modelled on a children's fortune-telling game made of folded paper, it shows lines as if from an old exercise book, and the corners and flaps bear the words of Forgotten Australians themselves about their experiences and their present situations.

"Forgotten Australians" is a term applied to the more than 500,000 non-indigenous, child migrants and indigenous children who experienced care in institutions or outside a home setting during the 20th century. Many of these children were abused physically, emotionally, or sexually while in care. Survivors to this day still suffer the effects of the child abuse.

On Monday 16 November 2009 the Prime Minister Mr Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Mr Malcolm Turnbull issued a motion of an apology to the Forgotten Australians on behalf of the nation. The motion was passed on the 26th of November.

Note : The West Australian Museum is closed now for redevelopment and a new museum will open in 2020.  It is unknown as to whether this monument will be part of the new museum.


Address:James Street Mall, Jubilee Building, West Australian Museum, Perth Cultural Centre, Northbridge, 6003
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.949722
Long: 115.861389
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture
Artist:Judith Forrest (artwork) Terri-ann White (Words)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 10th December, 2010
Front Inscription

This memorial is jointly funded by the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments and is dedicated to all Western Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children.

This memorial brings the “Forgotten Australians” out of the shadows and into the light. Their most enduring legacy will be that the people now and in the future will know their stories and build upon them a platform for better care.

There is a strong thread that links the way a child is raised with the person they become in adulthood. This memorial stands as a reminder of that thread to all who create policies that affect children.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au