From tiny acorns mighty Oaks grow
The history of Oak Tasmania
My third history of a volunteer organisation, with more wonderful people involved, working hard, often for decades, for a very worthy cause: the care of … they have had so many names since the 1950s when the story began. Retarded children, mongols, handicapped – terminology was difficult, because names which were seen as forward-thinking at the time, like ‘the retarded child’ (‘retarded’ being a kinder word than the older alternatives) are now unacceptable. ‘Child with a handicap’ is now the term. Or is it ‘child differently abled’?
It was inspiring to go around the Oak workshop and see the workers enjoying their jobs, to talk to them and get their views. This was another really worthwhile history. I was glad to be able to honour so many devoted people, and also to describe the advances in attitudes to and services provided for people with handicaps.