AUSTRALIA – Apology to the Forgotten Australians – NSW Govt

Up on Ration Shed – Egroup and BLOG – with thanks to Mark Bourn of the Richard Hillman Foundation

For the original article GO – http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2690779.htm

Come join FAMILY Orientated Authors.

Take note Go https://rationshed.wordpress.com/whole-natural-biological-family-authors-are-welcome

Onward – Jim

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The Richard Hillman Foundation asks:

 

When will the systematic abuse of children stop ?

 

If the Prime Minister can Apologise to the aboriginal ‘ Australian Stolen Generation ‘ and possibly the ‘ Forgotten Australians – children who grew up in orphanages and children’s homes,’…..

WILL  he apologise to the ongoing abuse of children under his tenure : The victims of the Family Court and Welfare ideology.

 

LIVING A LIE:

………….And, you know, the kids resenting their parents, they felt abandoned. And then they discovered decades later, often when they parents had died that… the truth of the matter.

 

DAVID HILL: And the kids often didn’t know this until decades later and often when, you know, feeling they’d been abandoned and betrayed by their parents, when in most cases it seems the parents sent their kids out here because they were promised by these child migration schemes to provide opportunities that they couldn’t otherwise get.

http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2009/s2690779.htm

The full story…

Apology to the Forgotten Australians: NSW Govt

Elizabeth Jackson reported this story on Saturday, September 19, 2009 08:12:00

Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes)

Alternate WMA version | MP3 download

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Hundreds of people are expected to attend a special service in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens today to witness the NSW Premier Nathan Rees issue a formal apology to the state’s Forgotten Australians – children who grew up in orphanages and children’s homes.

From the mid 1930’s right up until 1970, poor children from England were shipped to farms throughout Australia to populate the colony and allegedly provide the children with more opportunities. The reality was very different.

Many of the children never saw their families again and for most of them their childhood in Australia was characterised by loneliness, hardship and sometimes abuse.

David Hill, the former Managing Director of the ABC, was one of those children. He was sent, along with his brothers to Fairbridge Farm in Central Western NSW. He’s written a book about his experiences and he joins us now.

David Hill, in your book you say you were one of the lucky ones because you were older when you were sent out from England, you had brothers with you, and after a few years your mother was able to come to Australia herself, and that wasn’t the experience though of many others at Fairbridge. What was it like?

DAVID HILL: Well, you’re quite right in pointing out that I wasn’t typical of the child migrants for all those reasons that you’ve mentioned.

But for a lot of these children it was a terrible experience. And it’s now widely accepted and recognised that… that those child migration schemes that were running were a very, very costly mistake that did a lot of damage to a lot of kids.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Can you describe your us what it was like. In the book you talk about children as young as four being shipped out with no family whatsoever. Siblings were separated…

DAVID HILL: The typical child migrants that contrary to popular belief, we weren’t orphans, we were just from very poor and often dysfunctional and destitute families.

And the average age would have been about eight years of age; some as young as four, shipped out to the other side of the world, put on an isolated farm school, forced to leave school at the minimum school leaving age to work on the farm, which was largely self-sufficient.

And most of these kids were short changed on a decent education, emotionally deprived, socially isolated and sent out into the world. There was nobody out there for them.

And a lot of the parents who sent their children with the promise that they’d be given opportunities they couldn’t be given in England, found that when they wanted to they couldn’t get their kids back.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Mmmm.

DAVID HILL: And the kids often didn’t know this until decades later and often when, you know, feeling they’d been abandoned and betrayed by their parents, when in most cases it seems the parents sent their kids out here because they were promised by these child migration schemes to provide opportunities that they couldn’t otherwise get.

And, you know, the kids resenting their parents, they felt abandoned. And then they discovered decades later, often when they parents had died that… the truth of the matter.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: So, David Hill, what’s been the legacy for you from your experience at Fairbridge?

DAVID HILL: Well, because I was one of the lucky ones… I had a mum that followed us out. I got there at an older age, so you know, I’ve… I’m not a claimant, if you like. I’m not a victim like… because I’m not typical of what happened to these kids.

But, but some of the stories that came out while I was researching that book that I had no idea of…

I mean little kids of six years of age, boys and girls who had their heads held down toilets as punishment for bed wetting, girls who remember being first sexually abused at five years of age, little children who are being whipped with riding crops, little kids whose entire childhoods were spent living in fear.

Now, the apology is a good thing, and it’ll give… it’ll give a lot of comfort to a lot of people, but you can’t undo some of the terrible things that happened to the children. Not just the child migrants, but in all of those children’s institutions.

But at least this is a step… a positive step forward. It’s acknowledging the great wrong that was done to a lot of kids.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The Federal Government is planning an apology of its own in November. Is that more significant?

DAVID HILL: Well, I think both of them are significant. As it turns out it was the State Government that had the oversighting responsibility for the welfare of the children in these institutions.

So, I think the State Government is probably more culpable than the Federal Government. Look, an apology is a good thing. I think most of the victims of these institutions feel some acknowledgement; some recognition of what happened to them is a positive step.

But it… you know, the House of Commons and the Australian Senate in the last decade have both had inquiries into this and both concluded that it’s a lifelong…

Every childhood lasts a lifetime, and if you maim a child, you’ll end up with a damaged adult. And that’s widely recognised and the apology won’t fix that.

You should know though that a large number of these kids are now… now lodged claims for compensation. Nothing will undo what happened to the worst cases, but that too will be a helpful step.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: David Hill, thank you.

DAVID HILL: A pleasure.

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