Call for support group

MARGARET Anderson grew up in a host of different children’s homes, but her empathy for others has not been tainted by this harrowing experience.

The 66-year-old Coffs Harbour woman is calling on others who have similar stories to form a support group in the city under the Care Leavers Australia Network.

Her ordeal began at age 11 when her mother took her to Bidura children’s home in Glebe. She was shifted between another three Sydney institutions before being taken to a mental health hospital called Callan Park.

“They took me there (Callan Park) because I kept running away to look for my mother,” Ms Anderson said.

“I was a State ward until I was 21 and still have the paper discharging me all these years later.”

It was only 10 years ago, when she followed a tip-off her mother was in Ipswich, that she put a notice in the local paper and finally found her.

But it was too late.

“I found Mum. She was murdered and buried under someone else’s name. She had been assaulted, but her death certificate said ‘no suspicious circumstances’.

“We got a plaque made with her name on it and put it on the tombstone.

“She was not the best mum, but she was my mum and although I am angry at the circumstances of her death, at least my search had been put to rest.”

Ms Anderson has been fostering children for 21 years and yesterday she was preparing to take her latest foster care child, along with three of her seven grandchildren, to Tabatinga.

Ms Anderson says she wants the support group to lessen the pain of people by sharing their traumatic experiences.

“I was the type of person who kept all my emotions inside and carried my pain around with me,” she said.

Ms Anderson will be holding a barbecue at noon on March 26 at the Jetty Foreshores. Look for the blue and yellow balloons.

For more details, contact Margaret Anderson on 0431 096 458.

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