Allies and Supporters
Allies and Supporters are family members, government services and departments, other service providers, health workers, aged care workers, workers in the criminal justice system and members of the wider community who, like us, want to better support people impacted by childhood trauma and trauma from forced adoptions.
Wattle Place can only partly address the trauma resulting from the harsh treatment people received in the past. Obviously, we can’t change that past, but we believe people who were treated so cruelly and unfairly as children deserve, at the very least, kindness and respect now. We, as a society, can work together to enable them to experience the feelings of safety, care, joy, pride and belonging that they should have known as children.
We are asking for your help to create a kinder, less traumatising, more inclusive society for those who carry the burdens of past experiences. We invite everyone to learn more about the stories of Forgotten Australians, Stolen Generations and Former Child Migrants, forced adoptions and the reasons behind the National Redress Scheme.
Understanding this history and these experiences, and recognising the lasting impacts of those experiences on the individuals who endured them, should challenge you to change your assumptions and, therefore, the way you respond to people whose behaviours or responses you find difficult.
It is important to know that there are things all of us can do to make our interactions more positive for everyone involved, and reduce obstacles that people with a history or trauma face.
You can make a difference
People who suffered childhood physical and/or sexual abuse, and those impacted by the trauma of forced adoption, face the threat of triggering thoughts and feelings on a daily basis. Reminders of past abuse and mistreatment can occur at anytime, in situations that would otherwise be non-threatening, even pleasant, such as watching a movie, shopping, or travelling by train. A smell, a name, a sound, a particular symbol, can cause great distress when it triggers memories and feelings of past traumatic experiences.
Other interactions, which can be stressful and confronting for anyone, such as visiting a doctor, going into an aged care facility, dealing with police or with government departments, are especially difficult and cause a greater level of distress when someone has a history of mistreatment by those in authority and government agencies.
When people around them are not equipped with the knowledge or understanding to respond appropriately, these interactions can become confronting and unpleasant for everyone involved, but particularly distressing for the person living with trauma.
It is in these interactions, in particular, that anyone can make a dramatic difference to the lives of people living with trauma.