Hi my name is Christina Green, although I have been given many names over the years as you will find out within the pages of my Autobiography "The Life of Riley".
Christina Green is my name today through marriage and my maiden name is Riley and this is about a small toddler myself as a three year old. I was born of Aboriginal and European decent I am of the first people of this land the true care-takers I am of the Wiradjuri tribe my mob live around the Wellington and Dubbo region and growing up in an era of the stolen Generation, this being after the invasion of white settles and the "White Australian Policy" in which children were taken from their parents for their own good.
After being taken from my family and all that I know this is where my life changed direction in which I was meant to travel this is Bidura a government run institution run for children from young babies to toddler to teenagers, its where I was first placed as a three year old toddler, this is where my life starts in State Care where The Government are my guardians my protectors my given parents now. For who does a small child depend on for their existence, such as food, shelter, love, and nurturing, to be clothed to be put to bed at night to be comforted when in distress and told that that they will be alright.
My natural family is now of no significances they now have no rights as to my where about, or my well-being or how I am progressing, all parental ties are cut. I am now a loner just one of thousands of children who were taken from their parents and families that went through this wrongful system, one that should never had been, but this is my story. "The Life of Riley"
I never in my wildest dreams would ever have imagined that one day I would talk about my experiences in State Care. The shame the horror the feelings the memories will never cease. The life that I have experienced is part of me, it is what has shaped me and now encouraged me to speak out. To be a voice for those who could never talk about what had happened to them to be a voice for those who gave up the will to live because of what happened to them. To be a voice for those who have passed away way before their time because of illness that were induced because of the life they had experienced in care. To be a voice for those man or woman who went through the same system as myself who are not capable to write it down and put it out there.
"The life of Riley" story could be anyone out of thousands of children, let it be the Stolen Generation or The Forgotten Australians, who went through the Australian Government Welfare System, or The Aboriginal Protection Board. This is my story and my own experience which takes us back to 1958, I am three years of age, till my release from State Care before my eighteenth birth-date, an age where the Australian Government assume that us children are now ready to cope on our own within society as well adjusted young adults.
I must add with all honesty, out of those thousands of children that were taken away from their parents and families and all that they were familiar with, a minority may have had a wonderful experience in state care, and were lucky enough to have had loving giving and nurturing parents, and for those children now adults, I am glad they had that experience, because that is what one would expect that beautiful tiny vulnerable babies, young innocent children, now sadly less fortunate would be loved guided and protected in their growing years, till they have grown healthy, and confident, educated and capable to live productive lives from their 18th birthday, and to have been able to find their path within their communities and have been socially accepted within society, and moved on to make something out of their themselves, such as being actively involved within groups, clubs, and the work field and relationships till marring have children of their own and passing all they know and love on to their children so the cycle of life continues in harmony.
Unfortunately for the majority of children taken from their parents that Government system were very, very wrong, the children were abused systematically, thousands tortured, starved, belittled, shamed, raped and humiliated not educated not given medical attention or warm clothing or bedding. After they turn 18 years old they were discharged from state care and left with serious mental health issues, such post traumatic stress and depression, Bipolar, and many other clinical conditions, as well as being incapable of communicating with family friends or within relationships because of their shattered lives. There would have been thousands not having job skills, or any other skill to cope within society, leaving thousands to reoffend and becoming a statistic of institutionalized victim of a wrongful government system, in an era were children had no voice of rights.
Makes me realize why our correctional centers, and our mental health center are all over crowded, and why so many are depending on welfare today, it's an epidemic within our country and it took 2 hundred years for a Prime minister, such as Kevin Rudd to formally Apologize to the Aboriginal people the true care takers of this land, for the wrongs done to them and then Kevin Rudd publically Apologized to the Forgotten Australian all children, who were abused in and out of care, for what they had endured and suffered was wrong, and should never have happen. It's enough to make anyone cry, and for a nation, to fall from grace and rebuild those wrongful policies, acts, and slowly recover the lost people to families and communities and re-educate government and all people, to understand humanity.
"The life of Riley" story could be anyone of the thousands of children who went through the Australian Welfare system for my experiences takes us back to 1958 I am three years of age till my release before my eighteenth birth-date.
My Autobiography will tell you of my time here in Bidura
Metropolitan Girls' Shelter, although this moved to a separate building on the same site. Bidura closed as a children's home in 1977.
More information about Bidura is available at: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/nsw/NE00405 - http://nswcourts.com.au/courts/bidura-childrens-court/
Bidura in Glebe was a historic house:
NSW State Records show that the NSW Government purchased the property in about 1920, "to be used as a depot for State Children. By 1939 Bidura housed boys up to 6 yrs of age and girls up to 18 yrs, with an attached school operated by a governess. Bidura operated as a receiving home where children were temporarily accommodated awaiting placement in foster homes or awaiting transfer to other establishments." It ceased functioning as a children's home in February 1977, when it was planned to build the Metropolitan Remand Centre and Bidura Childrens Court at the rear.