Following is an email I forwarded around the Apology Alliance email list and to various politicians:
I have some very sad news – Mr. Patrick Rogan, former Labor MP for East Hills died last Tuesday and his funeral will be held tomorrow 17/2/2015. Following the funeral a wake is being held in the Whitlam Room at the Revesby Workers Club at 12.30.
I have been friends with Pat since 1994 when as Chair of an activist group: Mothers for Contact I brought to his attention the plight of the white stolen generation. Over the next 3 years I furnished Pat with copious research, much of which had been originally unearthed by Judith McHutchison and presented in her 1986 Masters thesis. Later after I formed the original Origins group – no affiliation with the one that exists today – Pat in a private members’ statement brought the issue of forced adoption firmly into the political arena – you can read his speech at http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA19971112038?open&refNavID=HA8_1 – titled: Stolen White Babies.
Without Pat’s activism there would have been no NSW Inquiry. Pat had successfully gained a Royal Commission for victims of the horrors of the Chelmsford Private Hospital Deep Sleep Therapy, so he and his personal assistant: Ms Margaret Como, had a wealth of expertise in successfully knowing their way around gaining inquiries. Many do not realise that only a handful of MPs have such expertise. I informed Pat that the infamous Drs. Bailey and Herron who ran Chelmsford were also consulting psychiatrists at Crown St Women’s Hospital hence many mothers, such as myself, had been given the same cocktail of barbiturates as those intravenously given to Chelmsford deep sleep victims – only we were given them in pill form. Judy McHutchison provided me with the information about the linkage between Crown St and Chelmsford via Bailey and Herron and when I passed it on to Pat he was immediately aware that grave injustices had been perpetrated on unwed mothers in the government’s attempt to get babies for the infertile. Pat had always been a fighter for the underdog. He explained to me later that his hate of injustice was the outcome of “the Irish in me”!
When I met Pat he had been in state politics for 25 years and was extremely well respected. When he stood up and called for an inquiry his friends, Jill Hall, Bryce Gawdry, and Deirdre Grusovin added their support in their own private members’ statements’. Pat told the then Minister for Community Affairs, Ms Faye Lo Po, that if she did not agree to an inquiry he would continue fighting until he got a Royal Commission. Lo Po knew that Pat was a man of his word and in April 1998 she announced that there would indeed be a NSW Upper House Inquiry into past adoptions. For the first time what really happened to unwed mothers and the theft of our babies was put on the public record. The Inquiry provided the opportunity for psychiatrist Dr. Geof Rickarby and former head of the Law Reform Commission: Justice Richard Chisholm to identify the illegal practices and put them onto the public record.
I owe a lot to Pat. He has been a part of the Apology Alliance since I set it up, to gain apologies from all state and federal governments, in February 2008. In September 2008 Pat launched the Mothers’ book I edited and wrote: Releasing the Past: Mothers’ Stories of their Stolen Babies at the ninth National Adoption Conference. It was at the launch of the book I had the opportunity to announce officially our fight for these apologies had begun. There is some amateur footage of Pat’s speech that can be accessed on the Apology Alliance Blog at http://apologyalliance.com/
There are 3 links to the launch of the book up on youtube :
Pat you are loved and will not be forgotten.
PS I have not generated an updated list of current MPs so please pass on the above to your relevant MPs – Pat’s speech is certainly worthy of a read
Dr. Christine Cole
Apology Alliance Australia