A LiSTNR Podcast explores forced adoption in Australia

New LiSTNR Podcast ‘Secrets We Keep: Shame, Lies & Family’ Lifts The Lid On Australia’s Darkest Secrets

Journalist, Amelia Oberhardt, thought she knew her mum. Until she died.

At her mum’s wake, Oberhardt discovered a photo of her mother as a teenager, wearing a wedding ring, standing beside her apparent husband and cuddling an unknown baby.

Determined to find out more, and to understand what the photograph represented for her family, Oberhardt embarked on a journey that led to the hidden secrets of 1950-1970s Australia.

This is the premise of Secrets We Keep: Shame, Lies & Family, the new original audio docuseries from the LiSTNR News team.

Listen to the trailer now:

The series delves into a subject both extraordinary and surprisingly common – the hidden
histories of secret pregnancies, shotgun marriages, forced adoptions, and the challenges
faced by young women in impossible situations. It is the story of what happens when young
women, from just a generation ago, are put in impossible situations, and where this messy
knot of secrets leaves families decades later.

To create this podcast Oberhardt, and LiSTNR’s team of award-winning producers, have
navigated their way through a dark era of 1970s Australia. According to the Australian Bureau
of Statistics, in 1971-1972, 1 in every 28 babies born in Australia was adopted. For context, in 2020-21 this figure was 1 in 1145 babies.

Podcast host, Amelia Oberhardt, said: “I have been on this journey to find answers to my own
family secrets for more than a decade. In that process, I found out so much more about the
time that my mum was coming of age. It wasn’t easy to be a young woman in Australia through the 1960s and 1970s.
“What surprised me during the making of this series, is just how common this story is for so
many families and how many are still impacted today. I really hope this series can help to
heal these families because it certainly helped change the way I feel about my mum.”

Check out Secrets We Keep: Shame, Lies and Family now: