Fine commentary, Mr Dog.
Those Brides of Chr1st would be in heaven now enjoying the rewards of their earthly calling. How godly to be a sanctimonious fence for stolen babies to be placed with nice respectable Christian folk.
Amberj was right. Real tears from this one.
Thanks FD. You’ve defined the *really* important thing that happened in Canberra yesterday.
P.S. Crikey, this one needs to be unleashed from the paywall.
Excellent and sad at the same time.
Thank you first dog.
FD might get an(other) award from this one.
Another Walkley coming up.
FD thank you, your toon is a sanctuary of reason. I read this & followed with Angela Barra’s story of forced adoption, recommended it. Also can I recommend the film Oranges & Sunshine to anyone touched by this issue.
Beautifully told first dog on the moon.
Good one dog. Worthy of the apology and the report that informed it. No jokes here but we can feel some cheer that the wrong is acknowledged and should not be made again. Unfortunately, as Jon Kudelka pointed out yesterday, we can look forward to another apology in 20 years to the children of refugees.
That would have been difficult to draw and colouring it something like a slow bleed surely. Reading it was a storm of emotion.
FDOTM: Who makes in a cartoon what is said in twenty million words of newsprint.
They even altered the details of the medical records to suit themselves Dog. Disgraceful.
A palpable hit, FD. There are things which drain the joy from the world - but they can be plugged.
God (smack) is (slap) LOVE. (whack)
What Venise said. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it is odd to me that a cartoon should describe things more eloquently than many trees worth of newsprint.
I love you more everyday most honorable dog
Thank you for ignoring all the leadership crap and making valid comment on an important story. These are interesting times when the most significant news of the day is most ably captured by a dog who writes cartoons.
Such eloquence, it breaks the heart.
Simple, beautiful, awful.
Many thanks FD. Angela Barra’s story, followed by your succinct and heart-wrenching portrayal of just one story from this national sorrow moved me immensely.
THE FAMOUS ECCLES: I think that is the special genius of a great cartoonist. To put all the agony, despair and sadness of thousands of people and millions of words of newsprint into one single cartoon, that is greatness.
(Even if he only mentions me in order to sink the boot in.)
Question; would god or jesus feel at home in the RC organisation? Given the track record of the RC organisation dating back to the inquisition, I don’t think so.
How many of you, including FDOTM, were actually there when all this was going on? I was, as a midwifery student and staff midwife at Crown Street Hospital in the first half of the 1960’s.
All these stories, and what happened at the time, is completely foreign to me. How come I missed such trauma? Mainly because it didn’t happen as most of these stories would have you believe.
Everyone seems to forget that it was a different era, a different society, and what happened to these young girls is now being judged in hindsight. A wonderful thing, but in most cases, simply not true. I have to tell you that there were many “adoptions” which were well accepted by these girls, because they knew there was no adequate system in place at the time to enable them to care for their babies. How responsible would it have been, on the part of hospital authorities (and others), to allow teenage mothers to keep their babies, when so many of them had been deserted by the father of the child, kicked out of home, had nowhere to live and no visible means of support? As far as I’m aware there was no “pension” in those days, so most of you are comparing apples with oranges. Does that mean that as midwives/nurses we were all without empathy for these children who were having babies from the age of twelve? Of course not. But a little knowledge of the times wouldn’t go astray.
If you want to blame someone (heaven knows why) perhaps you should look at the parents and families of these young girls. They were the people who abandoned them in droves, NOT the hospital staff who in most cases did the very best they could for them. But it is convenient in this, the twenty-first century, to blame those who had to pick up the pieces fifty or sixty years ago in a completely different society.
Shame on you Crikey and FDOTM for telling only one side of this tragic story.
The abuse of power, plus the self-delusion of infallibility and omnipotence, multiplied by a lack of accountability.
Trust someone to drag the utter red herring of abortion into this. And yes, it really is a red herring.
Hmm, did that comment I responded to get censored? I saw it in my mail from this forum…
Mike, the Dogonaut Lounge is a place of respect, decorum and tact. Those not meeting said respect/decorum/tact are politely asked to leave by the faceless dogs. We like it that way, I’m sure all will agree: no pooping in the lounge, thanks.
the indelible pain… we as a society know this, so why are we taking away the freedom of over 1000 children in immigration detention?
They too will never forget the pain and injustice done to them, to their mothers and fathers…
Hi CML - Your argument is with everyone who was at Parliament House yesterday being apologised to. I just based this on their stories. And I’m not here to provide balance, just dog pictures.
And Venise, you know you’re my favourite - that is why i hold you to a higher standard.
And yet, to many people, these were the “good old days”. For all it’s faults we now live in a more honest, upfront, less hypocritical world. Sad one F D. Thanks.
Work in one of those unmarried mother homes, did you, or in the hospitals that birthed their babies?
Why don’t you come out publicly and share your story, if you didn;t see any of what was reported happening?
Great cartoon FD.
Also thanks to CML for another view.
Life is not that simple.
The pope played an important role in this widespread catholic nuns practice for the junta!
@ SMS - I could write a book on this subject, mate. Don’t start telling me all about something you know nothing about!
I worked at Crown Street Hospital in Sydney (not in unmarried mother homes), where hundreds of these girls came to have their babies. If you think all of these girls came from these “homes”, you are very much mistaken.
At Crown Street, we had a “living-in” section, where around thirty pregnant (mostly teenage country) girls, at any one time, came to stay during their entire pregnancy. They were all treated with respect and cared for to the best of our ability. As student and staff midwives, we had a lot of contact with these young expectant mothers. Many, many of them were distressed, mainly because their parents/families had literally deserted them, and because they had almost all been made to feel guilty, dirty etc. because of the circumstances they found themselves in. Hospital staff didn’t do that to them, those who should have been supporting them did.
Our main aim was to prepare them for the birth with as little post traumatic problems as possible. While many of the practices which occurred during the birth are now seen as cruel or unkind, everyone genuinely thought they were in the best interests of the mother and the baby at that time. I absolutely refute the charge that hospital staff were “trying to be cruel” just because these girls were unmarried mothers. I saw NOTHING to indicate that this was the case. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen in other places, other cities. But to tar everyone with the same brush is a bit rich.
As far as the apology of the PM is concerned, she didn’t apologise on my behalf. I, and my colleagues, did everything we could to help these girls. As I said previously, if our current society wants to apportion blame, then take a good long look at their parents/families. I don’t want to do that, because I believe that the parents/families were also part of the social mores of the times, and in many cases, could not live with the “shame”. Perhaps many of you young ones don’t understand that today.
Thank you, First Dog on the Moon. I take your point, and apologise for my final comment which was a little unkind!
I worked in a public hospital and got a call late one night from a woman in America. She had just found out she was adopted. Her “mother” told her on her death bed. She rang the Hospital where her “Mother” told her she was born and where she might get some information. Next day, the Medical Records Administrator and I set about (illegally as it was then in 1983), uncovering the mystery for this poor person.
I kid you not; the collusion between staff and government to change the sex of the child in the medical record, after birth, and to totally ignore the birth mothers wishes to keep the child, was not only recorded, but used by the hospital to justify taking the baby and “organising” the adoption. As I said in my earlier post; disgusting. There are many more sides to this story; and for those solely blaming the church…. you can think again. The potential to make money in this disaster is obvious, and another ugly side of this caper. It was the other stolen generation.
I was born in 1966 in New Zealand and adopted out. I have an adopted younger brother and sister. What did we all have in common? Our real mothers were Catholic. The Catholic Church has EVERYTHING to answer for. My mother may not have been ‘forced’ into giving up her baby, but Catholic and societal pressure was coercion enough. She never told my father that she was pregnant. I was born in a town away from her family, under a mountain in Winter. She didn’t remember the date, but remembered the cold. She peeked out of the curtains at the hospital and saw my adoptive parents walking across the car park, dressed in their best clothes, to come and take me away. She thought, “oh thank god they look nice”.
When I met my mother for the first time she said, “I always wondered if this would ever happen”. Can you imagine living with this thought for 31 years?
The day after my 40th birthday, I met my father for the first time. He arrived from NZ to Darwin airport. He hugged me for a long time, and said, “it is always the most special thing to hug your child for the first time”.
Yes, it may have been ‘different times’, but the secrecy and lies and pain and longing for everyone affected by these events is not something that is less because of that.
@ drmick - All I can say is that when I was working in Labour Ward, all births were recorded accurately very shortly after the birth. The details were checked by two people. If changes were made after that time, I have no knowledge of this. Surely that must have been a very unusual event, because all the medical records and birth register details would have had to be altered. A very involved undertaking.
More evidence of why I subscribe
My ex partner followed the same tragic sequale described accurately in the dogs story. She was a cadet nurse at the time. They would not even tell her the sex of the baby nor let her hold the bub lest she become too attached or bond.
A lot of people were complicit in these sorts of things. Might have been different in city hospitals but 30 miles and beyond from the city centres & big hospitals, Hospital maternity units became arbiters of what was “right” & that is never a good thing. 16,000 people at least will tell you that it was not an unusual event.
CML & drmick. The forced adoption practice was in the recent past when I delivered my required 5+ babies as a medical student at King George V in the late seventies, but the attitudes of some of the senior obstetric staff & midwives was still one of vicarious & defensive shame & guilt. I was shocked by the overt contempt expressed by the Senior Registrar and some midwifes when I asked for help with the difficult delivery of a 17 year old single mum with no family support. It was only later that another midwife explained how recently the practice had changed (post Whitlam), and how scarred the people who had been involved in the practice and mechanisms of “illegitimate birth” remained.
Much that was “acceptable” was obviously wrong at the time - that’s why it changed. The “truth & reconciliation” process is not a blame game CML, and FD’s visual poem is not an accusation. Many of us carry guilt not of our own personal making: it is what we do with that energy which changes our society, usually for the better. Our discomfort was (and is) a lot less that the unwilling victims (mother and child) of the pre-OC-pill era. There are approximately 3 billions reasons why the condom didn’t change the world, like the pill did. Most of them have a y chromosome, but not all.
When I enquired about training as a midwife in Qld. in the late 70`s there were only three Hospitals that had male registered staff, and one that trained midwives in the whole state. Maybe they didnt want someone who would say no; this is wrong.
Things have changed a bit in the last 30 odd years but the guilt associated within the coven of some midwives & their complicity probably explains a lot of the unexplainable.
My ex is looking for something she will never find, & our 3 children carry that on for another generation. They have a half sister or brother out there somewhere.
Dogs never lie.
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