Forgotten Australians Coming Together Inc. (FACT) — the governing body of Tuart Place — was launched in 2007 with the aim of providing support to people who had experienced out-of-home care during childhood (‘care leavers’).
FACT was formed by a dedicated group of care leavers led by former child migrant Laurie Humphreys JP, an ex-resident of Bindoon Orphanage. His dream was to provide a ‘drop-in centre’ for any care leaver who needed it. Laurie and his fellow care leavers knew that institutional trauma, neglect and abuse often left people with ongoing problems requiring specialised support.
In 2009, FACT merged with a group of experts in social work, law, and service management to establish FACT’s first Board of Governance. This Board joined with an existing support service for care leavers, CBERS Redress Service (CRS), which was operating at 24 High Street in Fremantle.
As the primary support agency for the ‘Redress WA’ scheme, CRS was already in contact with a large population of survivors of childhood abuse in institutions, including missions, orphanages, juvenile correctional facilities, and foster homes.
The CRS client group included former child migrants from the UK and Malta; members of the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal people who were taken into State-governed care as children; and the ‘Forgotten Australians’ (non-Indigenous Australian-born people who were placed in institutions during childhood).
Over the years, CRS staff had developed a best practice model of trauma-informed service delivery and gained extensive expertise in the area of redress.
In 2011, CRS collaborated with FACT to secure LotteryWest funding for a large-scale research project to inform the business case for a ‘WA Resource Service’.
Care leavers worked with clinical specialists to co-design an optimal model of service delivery. Key features included: strong participant leadership via a Board of Governance; professional, trauma-informed services delivered in a non-bureaucratic setting; wrap-around support provided through a ‘one stop shop’; and continuous improvement based on ongoing research and evaluation, informed by feedback from care leavers.
The service they envisaged became Tuart Place.
Since its formal launch in 2012, Tuart Place has continued to operate as a service for care leavers, governed by care leavers. Over the last decade, Tuart Place has provided submissions to international Inquiries into redress for former child migrants, and hosted private hearings in Perth for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and the Northern Ireland redress scheme. It also played a major role in supporting federal initiatives such as Find & Connect, the Royal Commission, and the National Redress Scheme.
Co-design and participant leadership remain central to the success of Tuart Place. With strong care leaver representation on our Board, we continue to advocate for a better deal for care leavers at national, state, and individual levels.
Tuart Place remains the leading-edge agency for care leavers in Western Australia.