Permanent Exhibitions

The Museum’s permanent exhibitions explores three continuing themes


The History of Child Welfare in Australia

This exhibition the history of Child Welfare in Australia from the First Fleet in 1788 until the 1980s. The main feature wall has a timeline, which describes the development of Orphanages, Children’s Homes, Missions, and Foster Care.

Care Leavers Activism

This exhibition highlights the history of the Care Leavers Australasia Network, CLAN, and its activism to gain Redress for Care Leavers. Silent protest meeting posters are displayed. TV reports describe how CLAN was instrumental in achieving the Senate Inquiry for the Lost Australians and the Royal Commission to Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Children’s Voices

The Children’s Voices room is a themed exhibition centred around direct quotes from adults explaining their childhood in ‘Care’. Artefacts and photos from many Orphanages, Children’s Homes, and Missions are also in the same themes and enhance the children’s voices.


Temporary Exhibitions

The museum has regularly updated range of temporary exhibitions.


Current Temporary Exhibition


Our Lives Our Stories: Geelong Care Leavers Talking Back to the Records

Our Lives Our Stories focuses on Geelong Orphanages and Children’s Homes and five Care Leavers. Childhood records are vitally important to Care Leavers, but they can be difficult to access. Records can also fall way short of people’s needs and expectations and give a distorted view of people, events and experiences. Care Leavers have a strong urge to ‘talk back’ to the records of their childhoods in institutions. Listening to the voices of Care Leavers, adding memories of their lived experiences and challenging the version of the past in their records, helps to ‘set the record straight’. The Care Leavers tell what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they would have wanted to know from their childhood records.

Dates: 6 June 2023 to late 2023

Further information about the permanent and temporary exhibitions can be found on the Events page.