In the words of Doris Hart, first Secretary and National Organiser of AWCH – the moving force behind the Association’s initiatives from 1973 to 1983 – there was a dark underside to children’s hospitalisation….
‘In the newspapers and magazines of the 1960s/70s, information about children in hospital centred around hospital success stories; visits of royalty and film stars; Easter bunnies delivering a surfeit of Easter eggs; and Father Christmas and his helpers with an abundance of toys and good cheer. The stories conveyed images of hospitals working near miracles; of everyone caring about children in hospital and of the kindness shown by hospitals for their child patients.
The “cage” cot with a wire frame 1976
- that infants and young children needed their mothers in hospital and that need had to be met
- that parents and professionals must work together publicly if the above aim was to be achieved
I believed that we could do better by drawing upon Australia’s egalitarian ethos and creating a platform from which all could speak on behalf of the children, free of professional, personal or vested interests.