Sunday, April 5, 2015

Opening of Without Consent Exhibition at National Archives 30th March 2015

I was privileged to attend the formal opening of Without Consent Exhibition in Canberra at the National Archives with my daughter Claire.The Archives sent out a media release for the formal opening. On the day, ABC and Channel 7 news were there. As I watched for this to be aired either the same night or the next day, all I could find was ABC news played the interview at 5 30am the next day  31st March. Very disappointing for an event that affected over one million people in Australia and that our former Prime Minister Julia Gillard opened.
 Senator Claire Moore was also there and it was good to see her.
Julia Gillard gave a very compassionate speech and was as always a grand lady. Former Family Court Judge Nahum Mushin who was on the national forced adoption advisory committee, called on the federal government to renew money for support services due to expire in 2017. He also said that forced adoption was illegal. He said Australia needed uniform adoption laws and that the country should consider abandoning the practice altogether. Prof Mushin also denounced bilateral agreements on ontercountry adoption with countries not signatories to the Hague convention, questioning whether it was in the best interests of the children.
The exhibition was very good. It showed the experiences of young girls from the start of their pregnancies through to adoption. It showed quotes from mothers and  adopted people as well as fathers and family members. I was pleased to see the replica of St Mary's gates. Many mothers passed through this home which was in Toowong Brisbane.I myself was one.
The exhibition is on display at the National Archives until July 19, 2015.
Many thanks to Amy Lay and all the team who worked very hard and many long hours to have this ready. Well done!
Margaret Oakhill-Hamilton.

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