[For R. See also : Lost Innocents and Forgotten Australians Revisited, Forgotten Australians Recommendation 1: “That the Commonwealth Government issue a formal statement acknowledging, on behalf of the nation, the hurt and distress suffered by many children in institutional care, particularly the children who were victims of abuse and assault; and apologising for the harm caused to these children.”]
Suffer the children: a nation apologises for its neglect
November 15, 2009
MARGARET Penry knows she has spent too much of her life hating.
Transported to Australia from England in 1953 as a child migrant, aged nine, she hated the authorities responsible for her fate, hated the cruelty of the nuns at the children’s home in Camberwell that took her in, and hated the ”filthy, dirty bastard” of a man to whom she was sent to work as a domestic servant, aged 13.
Most of all, she resented living a life so filled with hate…
Federal Minister for Families Jenny Macklin says the event is about “acknowledging the wrongs of the past”.
“I think a lot of people who were placed in institutions and foster homes or came here as child migrants feel that many Australians don’t know their stories and others simply don’t believe it happened,” she says.
“It’s a chance for all of us together to say that we are sorry … that we will never let this happen again.”
[A formal apology, with no acknowledgment of financial liability on the part of the two multi-millionaire politicians — Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull — delivering it on the part of the state will take place in Canberra on Monday, November 16.]
But for Mr Knight, tomorrow’s apology will be ”pretty hollow”. ”We were robbed of any real family life and education,” he says. ”What kind of country sends children to another country – little children without any moral or social support. What kind of country is complicit in that?”
What kind of country is complicit in that?
The United Kingdom.
(Love it or leave it.)
- “Of course the people don’t want [X]. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” ~ Hermann Goering, 1947.
Earlier, “Ms Macklin reiterated the Federal Government’s insistence that it was up to the states and former care providers – which include the Catholic Church and Salvation Army – to make reparations” (Nation will apologise to abused and forgotten, Misha Schubert and Miki Perkins, The Age, October 28, 2009).
Church facing record payout over sex abuse
November 14, 2009
VICTIMS of Maitland-Newcastle pedophile priest John Denham took the first steps this week in what could be Australia’s biggest compensation payout by the Catholic Church to child sex abuse victims.
- Denham is scheduled to be sentenced in December 2009 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing dozens of boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
Some victims have sought a meeting with Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone, one month before Denham is sentenced for child sex offences from 1968 to 1986.
The Denham case could produce a total payout greater than the previous known highest Australian payout of $6 million, paid to nine victims of Maitland-Newcastle pedophile priest Vince Ryan
But it is extremely unlikely to top the known highest individual Australian payout of $2 million, paid by Maitland-Newcastle diocese to a Ryan victim because of the catastrophic impact of the priest’s offending.
Solicitors said this week the Denham matter could be Australia’s biggest compensation case because there were 39 victims, and because of the successful prosecution of former Vicar-General Tom Brennan in March.
Brennan was convicted of knowingly making a false knowingly making a false written statement.
Newcastle solicitor Kate Maher, of Braye Cragg, who acted for a number of the Ryan victims, said evidence that Brennan didn’t act after he was repeatedly told of Denham’s offending was similar to the failed duty of care issue raised in the Ryan case.
Evidence that the late Monsignor Patrick Cotter knew of Ryan’s sexual abuse and “decided to say nothing” was significant because of the breach of Cotter’s duty of care to the children, she said.
Brennan’s conviction is believed to be the first successful Australian prosecution of a priest linked to failing to act over another priest’s offending, Ms Maher said.
But the impact of another church sexual abuse case that went to the High Court in 2007 remained a “significant hurdle”, some solicitors and barristers contacted by The Herald this week said.
Solicitor and sexual abuse victim John Ellis lost his case against the Archdiocese of Sydney, and was ordered to pay the church’s $750,000 legal bill, after the High Court refused an appeal to challenge the church case that there was no one to sue because of its internal structure..