This article in the Argus, Friday 28 June 1878, p7 is a stark reminder of the cruelty of the establishment values of British society, where people where expendable and were routinely treated like objects to be disposed of when no longer useful. It’s an attitude that prevailed for centuries, and it brought us the slave trade, the exporting of the poor to Australia as convicts and, in more recent times, the appalling treatment of indigenous children in the stolen generation and the abuse of post-war child migrants as documented in The Leaving of Liverpool.

This article (which is not reproduced in full – follow the link above to read the complete story) downplays the frequency of infanticide in the colony of Melbourne yet speaks of the undeniable need to provide for ‘a few stray children [who] are probably of no great value to the state’. Sometimes we can be very grateful for the fact that times have changed.

humanlife Fitzroy history - the changing value of human life

Fitzroy history – the changing value of human life

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