acknowledges all those that have taken part in the long struggle for justice
for forced, illegal and harmful adoption.
Origins also acknowledges that not any one individual is
solely responsible for the justice that saw the Senate Inquiry and the National
Forced Adoption Apology.
Following the New South Wales Inquiry report “Releasing
the Past”(2000) and its subsequent whitewashing it was evident that Origins needed
to pursue a national inquiry. The New South Wales inquiry had taken its toll on
the committee of Origins. Origins was left with very few members of its
executive and it was up to them after the NSW inquiry to continue to try and
get justice for those affected by forced adoption.
The very few recommendations that came from the inquiry
were sabotaged or diminished by those in government and those with self-interest
to ensure that illegal and harmful adoption practices would never be
To follow on from the 2 ½ year Parliamentary inquiry
Origins needed to either expand or dissolve, and due to the movement that was
created by Origins and the extensive research into the legal and mental health
issues by Dian Wellfare and Wendy Jacobs it was decided that we would mount a
campaign to obtain a national inquiry and educate the wider community not only on the illegal practices but
also the mental health damage caused to mothers and their taken children
It was decided that Origins would host a world first
mental health conference on the effects of adoption separation, the Stolen Generations
and the Forgotten Australians.
It was during this time in the lead up to the first
national mental health conference that Origins was in discussion with Senator
Andrew Murray who at the time was involved with the Child Migrants Inquiry. The landmark conference was held at Liverpool
Hospital in 2002 and co presented with CLAN.
Senator Murray was keen to work with Origins and to
call for a Senate Inquiry into illegal adoption. It was at this time that Lily
Arthur stood as a Federal candidate for the Democrats Party for the seat of Prospect
lobbying not only Senator Murray and Aidan Ridgeway, but also senators from the
Liberal and Labor parties.
It was at this time that Care Leaver Australia Network
CLAN was evolving and Senator Murray put his efforts into a senate inquiry for
what is now known as Forgotten Australians in 2003, leaving Origins to find another
2002; Meetings were held in Canberra with Jan McLucas
(Labor MP) to discuss a national inquiry for forced adoption.
2003; Origins presented 3 submissions from NSW, Qld
and Victoria to the Forgotten Australians Inquiry calling for a national inquiry into illegal adoption.
2004; Saw the release of the Senate Community
Affairs Reference Committee report on Australians who experienced institutional
or out-of-home care as children.
saw Origins lobbying the Liberal Party senators Connie Ferravanti –Wells,
Marise Payne, Helen Coonan and Tony Abbott with Lily Arthur standing as a
Liberal candidate for the federal election on the issue of forced adoption. Senator
Ferravanti -Wells visiting the Origins office at Bonnyrigg to discuss how to go
about gaining support for a national Inquiry.
2004; Origins in conjunction with the mental health
Association of Queensland Origins held its second National Mental Health Conference
on forced adoption the Stolen Generations and the Forgotten Australians
December. The landmark court case of Arthur versus
Queensland raised national interest in the issue of forced adoption and gained
widespread media publicity on the issue with Lily Arthur’s story being recorded
in a national magazine Woman’s Day.
The subsequent award winning documentary “Gone to a
Good Home” based
on this court case and the stories of mothers, adoptees and fathers separated
by adoption went global and was viewed on prime time TV in 2006 and at film
festivals across the globe. It was later repeated on pay TV in prime time.
2005; The Senate released a second report on Australians
who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children released from
care. Again Origins gave evidence in Sydney in front of Senator Claire Moore again
calling for a national inquiry into force adoption.
Origins presents submissions to Senate inquiries
into "Stolen Wages" and "Transparent Advertising and
Notification of Pregnancy Counselling Services” Bill 2005.
November, Origins also gave evidence to the
Parliamentary Inquiry into overseas adoption in Australia
once again raising the issue of forced adoption and again calling for a
2006 -2008; Origins gave evidence at the Senate
Committee on Mental Health, bringing to the committee an awareness of the
mental health damage caused by past of unlawful adoption practices.
In October 2006, the third Origins National Mental Health
conference was held in Victoria at the Melbourne Town Hall, once again attended
by those affected by forced adoption, the Stolen Generations and the Forgotten
Dian Wellfare Founder of Origins Dian Wellfare
Passes away 16th April.
2009: September Origins launches
its on-line petition to call for a
August; the committee of Origins
was summoned to Canberra by Minister
Jenny Macklin and was offered "whatever we wanted" if Origins mothers
of "forced adoption" accepted being part of the Forgotten Australians
and Child Migrants Apology. We soundly rejected this proposal demanding our own
Senate Inquiry so that those affected by illegal adoption could tell their
After a media campaign by Origins,
the notion of including mothers of
adoption theft in the apology was dropped by the government.
November 16th; was The
Forgotten Australians Apology where on
the day Origins met in Parliament house Canberra with Tony Abbott to ask the
Liberal party to support a national enquiry. He agrees to do so.
2009; The Federal Government initiates the Institute of Family Studies to
report on "Past Forced Adoption" with Origins Inc to provide the
Institute with our many years of research to the report. Discussions in
Canberra with Federal politicians and Senators for a Senate Inquiry
June; Origins initial response to the Australian Institute of Family Studies
"Impact of Past Adoption” report.
Origins rejects this report.
Arthur appeared for a 20 minute appearance on the Kerri Ann Kennelly Morning show
asking for a national inquiry
2010 June; Senator Rachael Siewert of the Greens
Party puts forward a motion in the Senate for an apology that recognises
the grief, pain and anguish suffered by thousands of mothers who were victims
of forced adoption.
The Senate votes it down.
October 19; West Australian Apology where unlawful
adoption practises were acknowledged, only due to the lobbying and media campaign
of the Origins committee subsequently inducing Senator Rachael Siewet to call
for a national inquiry.
November 2010; Senator Siewert called a motion for a Senate Inquiry which
and it passes, thus leading to an inquiry held for eighteen months that hears evidence
overwhelmingly from members of Origins, who preceded their submission with a
preamble placing onus on the Commonwealth for the responsibility of forced adoption
practices and policies.
2012 February 29th; The Senate Inquiry
into Forced Adoptions report is handed down. Origins
members turn out in force in Canberra to hear the Senate Committee validate the
Origins perspective of forced adoption and to speaks with the world media,
including the BBC and a US documentary maker on Forced Adoption.
2013 March 21st: Prime Minster Julia gave
a national apology, as recommended in the Senate report into forced adoption, Origins arranged travel and accommodation
for over 120 people to attend
See Origins Timeline for more of our
Community Affairs Reference Committee report on Australians who experienced
institutional or out-of-home care as children released (August 2004)