Kinship Care - Informal

Voluntary Placement - recognition campaigns

Many children were placed into Care by their parents, rather than by the State. Children placed into Care "voluntarily" have been described as "largely invisible" to State Authorities (Forgotten Australians Report, p.72) Although the experiences of these children were similar or identical to those who were State Wards, there has been less recognition of their needs and support. In particular, access to records is often more difficult. Current campaigns are aimed at redressing this imbalance. For example, Tracie Oldham has led a sustained advocacy campaign through her own published memoir - My Shitty Life, publicity through social media, and direct lobbying of politicians.

For instance, Minister for Child Protection and Family Services, Hon. Colin Brooks MP acknowledged Oldham's activism in the Victorian Parliament, during discussions about the development of Victorian Redress Program in August 2022. He was responding to a question from MP Tania Maxwell, Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, who had highlighted Oldham's work in advocating for the status of those who were placed "voluntarily" into Care.

Key people: Tracie Oldham

More information:

Headshot of a seated smiling man wearing glasses and a collared shirt with red and grey stripes

Colonisation / European invasion

Before British colonisation there were hundreds of Aboriginal nations living in cultures of rich tradition which did not produce the so-called 'unwanted', 'friendless' or 'dangerous' children who European society opted to place in institutions and other placements apart from their families and loved ones.