Jessica Berry

Oranges and Sunshine - Child Migration to Australia

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    I am just wondering if people have watched the film Oranges and Sunshine. We watched it last night.

     

    It tells the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker from Nottingham, who uncovers one of the most significant social scandals of recent times; the mass deportation of children from the United Kingdom to Australia. What is even more disturbing is the final party arrived in Australia in 1970. It is estimated that child migration programmes were responsible for the removal of over 130,000 children from the United Kingdom to Canada, New Zealand, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Australia.

     

    I am assuming there was quite a bit of publicity in the UK on this issue when Gordon Brown gave an apology for what had happened, but I did not realise the extent of this issue and that it continued until 1970!

     

    Nottingham (my home town) is featured in the film and also Adelaide (although in the film they say it is Perth) and the street that is featured quite heavily in the film is opposite Central Market with the theatre on one side and a pub on the other corner.

     

    The work to reunite children with their families still continues through the Child Migrants Trust and there is an office in Nottingham.

     

    See the link below for more information...

     

    webicon_gray.gifhttp://www.childmigrantstrust.com/our-work/child-migration-history

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    Guest PaulandVicky

    My aunty (in-law) was in an orphanage in Scoland in the 1950's. She was told her parents were dead. Then deported to Australia. She has since been told the truth. Now in her 70s, the Australian government has paid for a return trip to Scotland for her last year. Including business class flights etc.

    Not good....

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    i watched it a while ago now, and although had heard a fair bit about this and do remember Gordon Brown's apology, i never fully understood the background/story until i watched this film. Still cant believe that this cruel scheme carried on into the 1970's!

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    I watched that film recently and found it very distressing and difficult to watch. Its so hard to believe that such a harsh and cruel policy existed . I found it hard to understand the rational for the deportation of these poor children......so bloody cruel!!!!!!!

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    The rationale was to give these children born of the "dregs" of UK society a chance to get away from the stigma and a chance at a healthy, happy new life in Australia. Australia needed a larger population and what else would be better than a white child assimilated by growing up here to help build up the country. It was the thinking of the times. I don't think they realised the cruelty these children would sometimes be subjected to. Bit like the half caste Aboriginal children taken away supposedly to give them a better chance at life as the Australians saw it.

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