Samilya Bjelic – Forgotten Australian


Thank you for your interest in my book  Not Forgotten: They called me Number 10 at Neerkol orphanage

I’m Samilya Bjelic and I have written this book with Anne Moorhouse.

Forgotten Australian

I’m a Forgotten Australian. Most people don’t know what that means. Forgotten Australians are children who were placed in orphanages and homes from 1920-1970 and were then forgotten about. Most of us were abused and horrible things happened to us. I was in St Joseph’s Home, also known as Neerkol Orphanage, outside of Rockhampton for 8 years. I was abused by Catholic priests and nuns, and then later by my mother. Not Forgotten: They called me Number 10 at Neerkol orphanage is my story.  Soon there will be a page where you can read more about me and the book, we’re working on it.

Co-author of Not Forgotten

I’ve been working on this book with my friend Anne Moorhouse since 2015.  It took me over thirty years to find someone to tell my story. I could not believe Anne wanted to write about me.

I met Anne through my daughter. Anne’s a psychologist and I hoped she could make people understand what happened to me. It’s been hard for me to tell Anne about my life and all the trauma that I’ve been through.

I wanted her to write Not Forgotten: They called me Number 10 at Neerkol orphanage so my children will understand what happened to me and why I’m like this. I can’t change what happened, but I hope one day they will understand. I’m sick of people not understanding what this did to me.

I’ve fought for justice all my life, through the Forde Inquiry, the Senate Committee Affairs References Committee, and through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It’s exhausting.

Due to the abuse and neglect,  I’ve been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I still struggle with symptoms of anxiety and depression. I don’t like having a disability and I don’t like the stigma of it. I’m much more than this diagnosis, I’m also a volunteer, mother, grandmother and partner.


I volunteer at a Community Centre.  I work on reception, collate statistics, and help manage information for the No Interest Loan Scheme. I go most days and it’s a good feeling to volunteer. The Centre gave me somewhere to belong.

Mother and Grandmother

I love my children and grandchildren and will never forget the happiness and joy they give me. I live around the corner from my youngest daughter and see her and her children all the time.


I have a long term partner, Ray.  He’s mentioned in the book.  He had a stroke and now he’s in a wheelchair and lives in aged care. I visit him often.

Thank you for reading.

If you’d like to purchase Not Forgotten: They called me Number 10 at Neerkol orphanage you will soon be able to do that here.