Without Consent exhibition national tour extended

Media release: Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The National Archives of Australia has today announced a further two venues in the national tour of its Without Consent: Australia's past adoption practices exhibition – in Geelong and Adelaide.

It is estimated that 250,000 Australians were affected by the policies and practices of forced adoption, with most adoptions occurring between 1950 and 1975. In a dark period of Australian history, unmarried mothers were forced to relinquish their babies under the unbearable weight of social expectations and illegal practices.

Without Consent brings to light the previously hidden adoption practices of Australia's past. It has offered those affected by forced adoptions the opportunity to share their experiences – some for the first time ever.

David Fricker, Director-General National Archives of Australia, said: 'This exhibition is a tribute to the courage and generosity of those who volunteered to share their experiences. Without the voices of those affected, our nation's history would rely totally on institutional records that show nothing of the human anguish such practices caused.'We are so pleased to be able to bring Without Consent to Victoria and South Australia. Stakeholders from these states were very supportive as we were developing the exhibition and the Forced Adoptions History Project website.'

The South Australian leg of the national tour – which commenced in 2015 and has visited 12 venues across the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia – will see the close of the tour. Almost 200,000 people have visited the exhibition to date.

Without Consent: Australia's past adoption practices will be on display at:

National Wool Museum | 1 November 2019 to 26 January 2020
26 Moorabool Street
Geelong VIC 3220

State Library of South Australia | 7 February to 26 April 2020
Corner North Terrace and Kintore Avenue
Adelaide SA 5000

Contact information

  • Michaela Forster (Assistant Director, Communications and Media)
    m 0417 247 157 e media@naa.gov.au

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Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019