Lily Arthur is the Director of Origins Supporting people Separated by Adoption and a campaigner for human rights, and justice for women and children affected by the illegal adoption practices of the past.
This book tell the story of a young girl migrating to Australia at the age of 9 from the war torn debris of East London.
This was 1959 and the era of the “ten-pound Pom” and a promise what was supposed to be a brighter future in Australia.
Two years after our arrival saw us abandoned by my father who returned to England, and my mother’s fight not to lose her nine children to the State of Queensland.
Caught between an era of women’s liberation and the draconian ideology that young women should be punished for stepping outside of the “moral codes” of society, saw me a month shy of my 17th birthday incarcerated in a Magdalene laundry and the child I was carrying whisked away in the labour ward of a Brisbane hospital, never to be held by his mother.
Decades later, my search for truth and accountability uncovers an un-rightable wrong and led to an impossible journey of finding my lost child.
My story documents the struggle of an estimated 150, 000 Australian women like myself who have suffered one of the greatest human rights abuses that could be inflicted on young vulnerable women and their children.
It is a story that ends in a historic national apology by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the unresolved legacy of a time and place that saw its effects flow onto infinity, and to generations that are still yet to be born.