Apology to the forgotten Australians

Apology to the Forgotten Australians who were in Melbourne City Mission’s Care 

Melbourne City Mission apologises unreservedly for any harm, distress or hurt that may have occurred to children and young people while in the care of its institutions and other out of home care facilities (note 1). 

The ‘Forgotten Australians’ Senate Inquiry has shown that life in institutional care was often bleak and caused lifelong pain and difficulties for many careleavers. 

Melbourne City Mission deeply regrets any abuse, neglect and lack of appropriate care and nurture of children in its care. We accept that some children did not receive the love, nurturing and care to which they were so rightly entitled. 

Melbourne City Mission encourages past careleavers who wish to discuss their experience with our services to make contact with us ( note 2). 

We are committed to support careleavers to tell their story, recover their history or find supports that may be needed. 

Ric Holland (Rev)
Chief Executive Officer 


Note 1: Melbourne City Mission was responsible for an adoption service, Hartnett House which included a children’s home and, later, family group homes; the Elizabeth Fry Retreat, a hostel for young women, later called Swinborn Lodge, and Southport which offered adolescent community placements. 

Note 2: Contact the Melbourne City Mission Heritage Service on 03 8625 9977.