Last night the exhibition Enslaved in a Magdalene Laundry was opened by artist Anne Newmarch OAM and the Executive Director of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Jacinta Thompson in Adelaide. There was a large audience in attendance, including the former President of Ireland, Ms Mary McAleese.
Elm Place, a service provided by Relationships Australia (SA), played a role in helping to organise the exhibition. Workers from the service were on hand at the exhibition opening to provide support to attendees.
Over 500,000 children in Australia experienced life in an orphanage, Home, institution or other form of out-of-home care in the twentieth century. Of the 800 institutions for children in Australia, in that time, there were nine Magdalene laundries, run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd (now known as Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand).
This exhibition depicts the experience of Australian-born, New York artist, Rachael Romero, who at 14, in 1967, was incarcerated, without charge and without legal trial, in the Convent of the Good Shepherd. ‘The Pines’, on Marion Road, North Plympton, SA, was one of nine of these laundries across Australia in the twentieth century.
This is the first exhibit addressing this issue of forced labor and extra-judicial incarceration of minors held in S.A and is an important exhibition to see to understand more about this part of Australian history.
Click here to view photos from the launch in Adelaide.
About the Exhibition
What: An Art exhibit by Rachael Romero, a survivor of The Pines and curated by Adele Chynoweth
When: 5 September – 3 October, 2014. Open to the public weekdays from 9-5.
Where: Kerry Packer Civic Gallery, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia, 55 North Terrace, 3rd level, Adelaide, SA
About Elm Place at Relationships Australia (SA)
Elm Place services are available for any adult whose personal history includes experiences: as a ‘Ward of the State’ or under the ‘Guardianship of the Minister’, under a care and protection or secure custody order, in foster care, in institutional care in children’s homes or in an orphanage.
Elm Place is located at 191 Flinders Street, Adelaide. Please contact Find & Connect Support Services on 1800 161 109, Post Care Support Services on 1800 188 118 and Royal Commission Support Services on 1800 998 187. Additional information and resources can be found on the Respond SA website.