The story of the British child migrants is a mix of imperial ambitions and racial anxieties, good intentions and deliberate cruelty, religious sectarianism and genuine philanthropy. The child migration policy was conceived by governments to benefit their countries, but the burden has been carried by the children and the families they left behind – the ones who were reunited, the ones who never met again, and the ones who met for the first time.
Whether it was by accident or design, terrible things were done to children in the name of populating Australia with 'good white stock'. The effects of this policy continue to echo through individual lives and generations of families, in limited education, financial insecurity, uncertain identity, ongoing health issues and the pain of physical and emotional separation. The fact that some of them have lived fulfilling lives is testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and the power of love.
Every former child migrant's story is unique, but if there is one thing they all agree on, it is the importance of having a family, and of holding on to the people close to you.