The term Forgotten Australians was first coined in 2004 by the Commonwealth Government Senate Community Affairs References Committee to refer to people who experienced institutional or out-of-home care in Australia during the 20th Century. Other terms commonly used include former state wards, state ward, ward of the state, care leaver, ‘clannie', former child in care and former resident.
The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to formally recognise the experiences of Forgotten Australians after the 1998-99 Commission of Inquiry into abuse of children in Queensland institutions (known as the Forde Inquiry) found that many children had suffered abuse or neglect in institutional care and continue to be affected by these experiences into their adult life.
Since 2000, the State Government has established and funded specialist community-based support services which have provided assistance to thousands of Forgotten Australians.
There are a number of key documents which detail the past and present experiences of Forgotten Australians. These Include: