Campbelltown City Library Service will host a poignant talk by local author and long-time resident of the Macarthur region, John R Bicknell, to launch his new book, Twelve Years In “Care”: A British Child Migrant’s Story.
The book launch at HJ Daley Library on Wednesday, October 11 will be part of the library service’s visiting author program, which gives locals the opportunity to hear first-hand from writers who share their stories and experiences.
This year’s program has already attracted popular authors Peter FitzSimons, Candice Fox and well-known journalist Tracey Spicer.
In Twelve Years in “Care”, John recounts his experiences as part of “the unwanted generations”, more than 150,000 boys and girls who “volunteered” to migrate from the United Kingdom to many colonies of the then British Empire, including Australia, between the 1860s and 1960s.
John explains: “Many of us were bastards/illegitimate by birth and/or from the lowest echelons of society.
“It was all quite ‘normal’ and accepted practice; we were surplus to requirements.
“Once we were put into institutions we became ‘fillii nullius’ – the children of no one, to be done with as the authorities saw fit.
Mayor of Campbelltown, Cr George Brticevic, said the library service’s visiting author program had been a huge success, attracting talented and highly regarded writers, including two locals – crime writer Amanda Howard, and now John Bicknell.
“The program has included writers of a variety of genres – from true and fictional crime writing, to autobiographies – giving locals the opportunity to not only hear from professional writers but learn about a variety of subjects,” he said.
“John’s story is a moving and uplifting one, and we’re grateful he is sharing the launch of this book with the local community.”
The free event starts at 6pm, and bookings are essential to secure a place.
Light refreshments will be served. To book, call 4645 4444.
For more information about Campbelltown City Library Service, visit campbelltown.nsw.gov.au/libraries.