6 responses to “Remember Them, Those Poor Souls”

  1. Michael are you related to Ray?

  2. Dear Sue,
    I cannot even begin to understand your profound humanity in caring for your persecutor.

    Your selfless work, as well as the courage of those who have shared their painful history, challenges any of us “Outsiders” who fail to see Forgotten Australians as anything less than our nation’s teachers.

    Thank you Sue for your powerful lesson.

    On a governmental bureaucratic note, the observations that you and Christine Waite have made, remind us of the importance of ensuring that the terms of reference for any official inquiry are broad enough so as include all relevant experiences.

    Thanks again and best wishes,
    Adele

  3. when i wrote the poems above, i was still struggling to articulate what had been our fate, i wanted the world to know, we were not mad and bad children, i was never a criminal or rebeliouse, i wanted to survive the abuse i had suffered my whole life as a state ward accross 3 states, variouse institutions/foster care and the evil of my own mother.
    i wanted to join the army, then they started drugging me because i was a nervouse kid who rocked herself to sleep couldnt stand being touched or beaten i just couldnt take anymore. i became rebeliouse after the druggs and isolation cellks in the childrens homes, my rebelion was begging them not to lock me in those cells and not to hurt me anymore, that was my crime.
    10 years in hell the post i read above and thank yoiu christine, you are a champion for us and i know those poor souls will never be forgotten.
    what sadened me and ripped the wind out of my sils was the kevin rudd when delivering the nations apology excluded the kids sent to adult mental health and also the thousands of disabled children who without us do not have a voice, on behalf of the nation kevin rudd showed we are a dirty secret worthless as we were when sent to hell.
    while i was in goodna many disabled children some barely 11 years old were locked up with the criminaly insane the abuse i witnessed and endured was nothing less than a gross crime against humanity.
    In Queensland 2009 we recieved an apology from the state government which i am told hangs in parliment house now.
    the 1999 Forde inquiry refused to hear our evidence as we were in adult institutions it didnt matter that we were state wards under the care and protection of the state we were outcasts even to other FA groups who used the horrors of our history when it suited them but at the end of the day even they turned thier backs on us turning us away as unworthy.
    The Queensland redress scheme as we were not under the references of forde, again our evidence denied ( we didnt suffer enough ) in recent years our numbers have dwindled due to suicide and natural causes.
    there is no mention of redress or compensation, the government knows if ever we managed to get past the statute of time or barriers created to barr us from justice, every one of us has an unbeatable case against the government, yet we will never see justice, not even the scraps off the table of redress, because we are the nations dirty secret, WELL WAKE UP AUSTRALIA we who suffered and those who care such as christine above will never let our people be forgotten or the crimes committed against thousands of children under the name of therapy and treatment in such institutions as goodna ( wolston park hospital ). in the senate report children as young as 6 were sent to these hells and some were never released unless in a body bag.
    my poetry above speaks from the heart, the poem that is not there is one of humanity, i recently wrote after attending a job with an elderly man liveing in filth at risk of homelessness he was laying in his own excrement, i treated him with dignity and respect makeing sure his home was safe and healthy, This man was an abuser i remembered him as one of the psychiatrists who tortured us, he knew who i was and named the institutions includeing goodna. as i stood before him in his hr of need i remembered his crimes and the pain i suffer to this day. i remembered begging him for mercy now 30yrs later i had to decide do i treat him as he treated us or do i show we are and alway have been more human than those who tortured us.
    i chose humanity and made sure he recieved the best of care.
    that night for the first time in a long time dr “”"” slept in a clean bed the piles of magots and rotting food were gone. afterwoods i fell in a heap crying and full of anger, my next emotion was empathy and sadness for someone once so powerfull the stroke of his pen was enough to have a child inflicted with horrific pain treatments that tortured the mind and soul i know of 2 who committed cuiside they were barely 15yrs old rather than return to his care and that of his peers. i know i must sound insane or stupid for showing and feeling hunanity towards him, i am not a product of his abuse i am a human being.
    as a child into adult hood even the most basic human rights were denied us they took everything our dignity our minds and bodys they humiliated us and when that wasnt enough they stole our babys created by them.
    What they couldnt take was my faith and my humanity how that man was cared for in his hour of need proves we are and always have been stronger than those who harmed us we have more courage than they will ever know.

  4. Hi; Kate,

    I am so glad that F.As had the strenght to reveal the torture they went through whilst being in adult mental asylums as adolescent children where the mentally crinimally insane were housed. The government stuffed up big time putting them in extreme moral danger by placing F.As into those asylums.
    M.P Karen Struthers stated to Journlist Jason Tin from The Courier Mail 25/3/09 page 24, For many, these placements were not on the basis of a diagnosis of underlying psychiatrisc illness, but as a form of punishment for misbehaviour.
    F.As that were in Goodna Mental Asylum were sexually interfied whilst unconcience from the drugs, placed in straight jackets, tied to a bed that had no mattress for days with no food and little water, given multipal electric shock treatment under duress or were threatened to have electric shock treatment.

    One F.A ran away from Goodna Asylum and when they caught her they locked her in a room for 2 weeks for male staff to have access to as that was her punishment, she was told at that time that if she escaped again that there was a lot of suicides in the Bremier River, she believed them as she thought if you can lock her up with the crinimally insane, they could do exactally as they pleased.
    She wittnessed the horror of seeing people being strapped down for shock treatment and seeing them come out of the room when it was done. Whilst writing what she wittnessed, tears were rolling from her eyes as the pure horror of what these people went through. She said it was one of the cruelist things that she had ever wittnessed. The patients would fight the staff and come and hide behind other people such as herself, and beg her to help and protect them.
    There was nothing she could do and they would be dragged away by staff and they would be begging and pleading staff not to do this to them. When they came out of the rooms after Shock Treatment they would be left lying on the beds and this is when she saw male staff interferring and doing sexual things to some of the patients while they were unconscious.

    Sometimes for days and even weeks those patients who had shock treatment would walk arround in a daze with strange eyes, like they couldnt focus, and also loss of memory. They were forever asking others what their names were and where they were and they were very skiddish as hiding behind other patients so as not to be noticed by staff and if staff came towards some it was like they were frozen with fear. Everyone dreaded shock treatment but some staff loved it.

    F.As placed into Goodna Mental Asylum
    1. To short for their age
    2. Bed wetters
    3. Absconders from orphanages
    4. Adolescent rebellion [ to nuns/carers tryannical authority and in a systems of abuse]
    5. Bad behaviour [ standing up to abuse , abscondering , steeling lollies]

    Its a wonder F.As that stole food from school rubbish bins because they were so hungry that they werent sent to mental asylums.

  5. Thankyou for sharing , im recently released from jail and sober for the first time that i can remember. I always just thought i was born broken , i could never understand why i felt uncomfortable hugging , being alone with people , so i just drank and drank. I remember praying trying to cut a deal with god i was seven. I wasnt aware that what happened to me would affect my life , until now. Thankyou for your courage……I hope life is good to you….

    Micheal ( ward of the state 1979-1992)

  6. I have listened and later read the transcript of your story as told to ABC Radio National’s ‘All in the mind’ program, Up the Line to Goodna: stories from inside the asylum. I commend it to other readers of this blog. It can be heard or read via this link http://www.abc.net.au/rn/allinthemind/stories/2010/2921614.htm


... a project to document and commemorate stories of Australians who as children experienced institutional care