John Macdonald from Berry Street Childhood Institute spoke on caring for neglected children at our Public Lecture on 28th April, 2016. At the conclusion of his talk, he gave HSV a copy of Heartcore. The book is a beautiful compilation of stories written by Berry Street students, with photographs by Rowena Taylor of street art from the laneways of Melbourne suburbs by artist Kaff-eine. For instance …

Heartcore cover image

It was your fifth birthday, a week before my eleventh. Mum had not come home. She rarely did.

When you cried, I brushed your tears away.

‘Don’t cry’, I said to you, ‘We’ll have fun, you’ll see!

I’ll take you to the fields to play!’

The happy feeling disappeared as I recalled the way I had always felt.

Once again, she had chosen drugs and drinking over us.

I was left to pick up the pieces yet again.

Claire, 21

The stories from the students are moving insights into the precarious journeys of these young lives, as this example shows.

Copies of Heartcore are available for sale through Berry Street Childhood Institute.

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