Restored memorial to Forgotten Australians takes pride of place

Media release
Western Australia’s first memorial to honour children harmed in institutional care has been restored and returned to a place of prominence in the Perth Cultural Centre.
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Care leavers walked through an honour guard to unveil the “Unfolding Lives” sculpture at a rededication ceremony today outside the WA Museum Boola Bardip.

Commissioned after a Senate inquiry into the past treatment of these children, the memorial honouring the Forgotten Australians was first unveiled outside the museum in 2010.

The distinctive artwork by sculptor Judith Forrest resembles a child’s paper ‘chatterbox’, a fortune-telling game that reveals hidden messages.

Care leavers advocated passionately for the memorial to be reinstalled after it was removed and stored during the museum’s redevelopment.

The Department of Justice, in cooperation with the Departments of Communities and Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and the City of Perth worked with the care leavers to relocate the sculpture.

Its new site in the Cultural Centre precinct is less than 50 metres from the original location.
Attorney General John Quigley and Commissioner for Victims of Crime Kati Kraszlan officiated at today’s event.

“Care leavers have shown great understanding and patience during the redevelopment of the museum and restoration of the sculpture,” Ms Kraszlan said.

“They played a prominent role in the process to choose the site of the memorial’s permanent home and it’s fitting that they unveiled it today,” she said.

Department of Justice Director General Dr Adam Tomison said the memorial held great meaning for the Forgotten Australians and was significant for all Western Australians.

“I’m pleased that through cooperation and consultation, the community once again has the opportunity to reflect on the memories this poignant sculpture evokes,” Dr Tomison said.