|National||FINDING THEIR WAY HOME|
A number of key Catholic bodies have reacted positively to a recommendation from the 'Stolen Children' report that they need access to their records, in order to help them begin to find their family and true identity.
Religious congregations, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) and the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission are responding to this recommendation with a national directory of Catholic orphanages and centres which provided "out of family" care for children over the past 150 years.
Sr Daphne McKeough RSM from the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes and a member of the Stolen Generations Working Party said: "A number of religious congregations conducted boarding schools and orphanages specifically for Aboriginal children. Other Aboriginal children were among a broader population cared for in various centres run by religious congregations.
"It is important all of these people have as much information as possible about their past. Any information that helps people discover their origins and their story will help in the process of healing and reconciliation," Sr Daphne said. "Organisations did not keep records in the detail we are familiar with today so the actual personal information available in some instances is scant."
A first draft of the national directory was presented at the ACLRI Assembly in Melbourne.
Cath Weekly 1:06pm 17/6/99