Stories from a whole generation of Forgotten Australians are highlighted in a new piece of work at SLQ, The Untold.
Created by the Forgotten Australians National Theatre Group (FAN), the artistic work gives audience members the chance to listen to stories from the lives and journeys of Forgotten Australians, providing insights to a part of Australian history that has little recognition in our contemporary society.
Forgotten Australians are survivors of the institutional care system, which was the standard form of out of home care for children in Australia until the 1970s.
The collective, made up of Forgotten Australians and independent artists, took three months to produce the sound installation, which includes stories from Forgotten Australians locally and regionally in Queensland.
The installation made of wood screens and photo memorabilia is homage to the Forgotten Australian journey. Take a seat, grab a pair of headphones and listen to some of these extraordinary tales of survival.
The work showcases personal, intimate and visceral stories from people who were institutionalised as children in Australia.
These stories of Forgotten Australians are a vital part of our Australian history, but for so long their voices have gone unheard.
The driving force behind this project was to create an opportunity where Forgotten Australians from around Queensland could contribute and participate in an art piece, but didn’t necessarily have to perform on stage. It is also about developing their community, connecting with other Forgotten Australians outside of their immediate service centre and with other professional artists.
This project has provided an important step forward for this community, allowing them to share their experiences with a wider audience and build their skills and confidence at the same time.
Members of the group have been developing their expertise in audio recording and editing, voice training, as well as conducting interviews and further developing their social and cultural awareness.
The creative and collaborative process has been as valuable as the creative work it has produced.
Thomas Browning, a Brisbane based artist, has been collaborating with the group on sound design and I have had the great pleasure of working with the group as lead facilitator and director of the project.
Funding from Forde Foundation and support from Micah Projects has also been integral to the project.
The installation opens in the Infozone, level 1 at SLQ November 30 and continues until late December.
For more information about Forgotten Australians and services visit www.micahprojects.org.au
The Untold director, and Program Support Officer at The Edge, SLQ