Gwen Wilson Interview

4 Aug, 2015 by

Gwen Wilson Interview

Gwen Wilson’s childhood was a somewhat unusual one. She was raised by a single mother during the fifties and sixties, and while Australia may have been in a post-war economic boom, in wasn’t hitting her home town. Gwen had a supportive network of neighbours and family around her, so when her mother began experiencing frequent struggles with mental illness, Gwen had someone to turn to. But when Gwen grew a little older, and fell pregnant herself, she was in a very difficult situation. Gwen kept her son, Jason, but as her husband became more abusive, Gwen needed to get away and that led to Jason’s forced adoption.

Australia’s history of forced adoptions has been coming to light over the past few decades – most prominently with the government’s acknowledgement of, and apology to, the stolen generations. But it wasn’t only indigenous families who were caught in this shameful social policy – single mothers of all backgrounds were put under immense pressure to give their children to someone who deserved them, someone without their supposed ‘moral failings’ – and it shattered families.

Gwen Wilson has shared her story in the new memoir I Belong To No One, and she joined Sky Kirkham to discuss the work. Originally broadcast on 09/07/2015, I Belong To No One, is available through Hachette.

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