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Moreen Hull recognised for a life of service

Moreen Hull recognised for a life of service to kids in care

The Uniting community congratulates Ms Moreen Hull who received an award in the General Division of the Order of Australia, announced today in Canberra.

Ms Hull, 89, grew up at Burnside Homes (now Uniting Burnside) at North Parramatta, NSW. The homes were established in 1911 to care for destitute children, although today the buildings are the offices for a range of Uniting community services.

When Ms Hul left at 15 she was determined she would one day return to help children like her who had missed out on so much of the love and learning that comes with a normal home life. From her early 20s she began what was to be a lifetime of service to the children who were still in care at Burnside Homes and to the adults they grew up to be.

“Today we acknowledge the tremendous service Moreen has provided over the decades to support these children who were in our care. Her voluntary work mitigated the trauma and harm so often experienced by children growing up away from their birth families,” said Heather Watson, Chair of the Uniting Board.  

Ms Hull is the President of the ex-Burnsiders Association, and she was a driving force behind establishing a museum at North Parramatta where ex-Burnsiders have told their stories and had their history honoured.

In 1981she revitalised ex-Burnsider reunions and since then every November hundreds of former residents have gathered at the North Parramatta site to reconnect and talk about their childhoods. For many, this is a profoundly healing experience and recognition of the importance of place in their lives. In May 1989 Ms Hull established the Memories newsletter to assist ex-Burnsiders to keep in contact with one another.

Ms Hull also advised the government on children in care through her input into the 2004 Senate Inquiry, and has continued to give valuable and appreciated insights to Uniting.

“We’re delighted for Moreen has received one of the highest recognitions in the country. The Uniting Board, staff and I congratulate Moreen Hull on this well-deserved honour,” Ms Watson said.

ENDS

Notes

From 1911, many thousands of children were cared for at Burnside Homes, with children numbering over 500 a year in its peak decades. The homes continued to operate during the 20th century until they were fully replaced with a foster care program and a small number of community residences for older young people. The story of Uniting Burnside reflects a century of changing social attitudes toward children and families. On 19th September 2009, Uniting issued an apology to former residents of Burnside.

Contact

Alison Thyer, Media and Public Affairs Lead (Contact: athyer@uniting.org or 0457 568 938).