By Eleanor Bell
At 7am on Monday, November 16, 30 women met at the former Parramatta Girls' Home.
They had all been there many years before, incarcerated as wards of the state.
This time their reunion was more joyous.
They were boarding a bus to hear Prime Minister Kevin Rudd acknowledge their experience as Forgotten Australians and offer an apology for the abuse they suffered in state institutions.
One of the women, Christina Green, wore an ankle-length sequined gown and a mauve scarf for the occasion.
"I think [it was] electrifying in the sense that we were finally getting recognised, getting acknowledgment and an apology," she said.
"Kevin Rudd spoke very deeply and personally about every issue affecting Forgotten Australians; those who have been institutionalised, in an orphanage or in a state-run home, even in a Christian-run home, a charitable one."