Watching the Past in the Present - films, tv & documentaries

This post, along with tomorrow’s, is designed to showcase how topics relevant to Find & Connect and its audience have been represented in the media. While these lists are not exhaustive they show how important the stories and memories of Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants, members of the Stolen Generations and the abuse of children have become in the media in recent years. This diverse content also provides another way to educate people on the history of out-of-home care, child welfare, adoption and child abuse prevalent in institutions in Australia, and internationally.

Each category is ordered by date of release. The content linked to varies depending upon availability but include direct access to the material, trailers, descriptions and transcripts. Some are fictional accounts, while others are the testimonials of survivors and victims.

Please be aware before clicking through to any of the content that it will sometimes be confronting and disturbing, if required, support is available. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should also be aware that some of the content listed below may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.


Feature Films

Rabbit Proof Fence movie poster

Annie’s Coming Out (1984) –

Secrets and Lies (1996) –

Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) –

The Magdalene Sisters (2002) – Magdalene Sisters movie poster

Australia (2008) –

Oranges and Sunshine (2010) –

Philomena (2013) –

Spotlight (2015) –

Don’t Tell (2017) –


TV shows/episodes

Home (1983) –

Leaving of Liverpool tv drama poster

The Leaving of Liverpool (1992) –

Love Child (2014 – 2017) –

Call the Midwife – Season 4, Episode 1 (2015) –

Grace Beside Me – Season 1, Episode 4 (2018) –


DocumentariesLousy Little Sixpence

Lousy Little Sixpence (1982) –

Bitter Surrender (c.1989) –

60 Minutes – The Lost Children: After many years, painful, emotional reunions (1999) –

Stolen Generations (2000) –

Winnie Girls (2000) –

In the Shadow of Eden (2004) –

Deadly Yarns – Don’t Say Sorry (2004) –

Gone to a Good Home (2005) –

Kanyini (2006) –

Why Me? – Stolen Generations (2007) –

60 Minutes – The Lost Children Update (2007) –

The Forgotten Australians (2010) Girl Like Her poster

A Girl Like Her (2011) –

Apology and Beyond (2012) –

First Australians – Season 1, Episode 5  (2012) –

Forgotten Australians: Life Stories (2012) –

Four Corners – Given or Taken? (2012) –

Lateline – St Vincent de Paul assisted in adoptions (2013) –

Once My Mother (2013) –

The Long Journey Home (2014) –

The Keeper promotional image

The Keepers (2017) –

Undeniable (2017) –

Close to the Bone (pre-production)-


Tomorrow’s post which will cover stage shows, radio and podcast series, online exhibitions and oral histories.

If you know of any films, tv shows or documentaries that we have missed from our lists then please share them below in the comments section.



F&C_Site Survey Button

While you’re here, you can really make a difference to the future of by taking a few minutes to do our site survey. We’ll use your response to design an even better Find & Connect