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Judith Anne Brooker (1949-2014) spent time in several institutions as a child. Judith was made a ward of the (Western Australian) state when she was fifteen years old. Judith’s mother died when Judith was nine and she experienced her stepmother as uncaring and harsh. As a fifteen-year-old, Judith became rebellious, stealing and absconding from school.

After three court appearances, Judith was incarcerated in the Mount Lawley Receiving Home. From there she was sent to Longmore Detention Centre and, because she was distressed and suicidal, to the Heathcoate Mental Hospital. Judith was released from ‘care’ at nineteen.

Judith had a variety of work over the years, married, raised a daughter, and improved her education. She went first to TAFE and then onto university.


Judith’s story is included in Against the Odds: Care Leavers at University. Elizabeth, South Australia: Peoples Voice Publishing, 2015.

“Government Receiving Home (1935 – 1952).”  Find & Connect, 2011.

“Longmore Detention Centre (1993 – 1997).”  Find & Connect, 2018.