About the Redress Board

HIA logo – https://www.hiaredressni.uk

The Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 5 November 2019. The Act provides the legal framework for the establishment of the Historical Institutional Abuse Redress Board (the Board).

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TOWARDS RECOVERY (2 x PDF)

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2nd page

THE FORGOTTEN AUSTRALIANS – FAIRBRIDGE FARM SCHOOL, MOLONG

The Premier of NSW, Nathan Rees made an apology to the ‘Forgotten Australians’ on 19 September 2009. On 16 November 2009, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology in the Federal Parliament to the ‘Forgotten Australians’. 500,000 people, including over 7000 former British child migrants were part of the apology, which acknowledged the many instances of neglect and abuse that was the result of their time in government institutions, church organisations, orphanages, homes or foster care. The plight of the ‘Forgotten Australians’ has been identified in three Senate committee inquiries, with each making unanimous calls for an apology.

FAIRBRIDGE FARM SCHOOL, MOLONG

The NSW Migration Heritage Centre supported the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc.’s heritage project to record the experiences of former British child migrants at the Fairbridge Farm School, Molong, which documents a chapter of Australian migration and settlement history.

The Fairbridge organisation operated child migration schemes for underprivileged British children in Canada, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Australia from 1912 until 1980. Parents were persuaded to sign over legal guardianship of their children, on the promise of a better life in these Commonwealth countries.

The isolated, rural Fairbridge Farm School near Molong in New South Wales operated from 1938 until 1974 during which time about 1000 boys and girls passed through the school and were trained to be “farmers and farmers’ wives”.

Many of those children, now aged in their 60s and 70s, are now talking for the first time about their experiences. Loneliness was rife. Food was often inedible. The standard of education was limited. Disturbingly, more than half of the 39 oral histories recorded by the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc. document physical and sexual abuse. All the oral histories have been lodged with State Library of NSW and are accessible for research purposes.

The oral histories were subsequently incorporated in David Hill’s book The Forgotten Children and some of the accounts also appear in a documentary entitled The Long Journey Home screened on ABC Television on 17 November 2009.

The transcripts will be accessible at the State Library of NSW »

Purchase book »

Read Fairbridge memories and view personal mementos and photographs in our Belongings exhibition »

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS

Read a selection of 10 oral histories recorded by the Fairbridge Heritage Association Inc.

VINCENT MCMULLAN

Vincent McMullen came as a 7Âœ year old from Dumbarton in Scotland to Fairbridge in February 1961. He came to Australia as part of a later Fairbridge ‘Family’ scheme, with his mother and father, four brothers and two sisters and spent a total of 4 Âœ years at Fairbridge. This interview was recorded in Vincent’s home in Sydney on February 6, 2006.

Vincent McMullen's transcript

Download transcript (pdf)

STEWART LEE

Stewart Lee came as a 4 year old from Manchester to Fairbridge with his three brothers, 11 year old Syd, 9 year old Graham and 8 year old Ian Bayliff, arriving in Sydney in March 1955. Stewart was to stay at Fairbridge for 13 years. This interview was recorded in Gloucester House at Fairbridge Farm Molong on
February 9, 2006.

Stewart Lee transcript

Download transcript (pdf)


EDDIE BAKER

Eddie Baker came as a 10 year old from Winchester to Fairbridge arriving in Sydney in May 1948. He stayed 6 years at Fairbridge. This interview was recorded in Eddie’s house in regional New South Wales February 8, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MALCOLM FIELD

Malcolm Field came as a 10 year old from England to Fairbridge with his 14 year old brother Laurie, arriving in Sydney in December 1952. His younger brother Keith, aged 6 and sister Jane, aged 5, were already at Fairbridge having been sent out in 1951. Malcolm was to stay at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded in Malcolm’s home in regional New South Wales on February 17, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MARGARET CLARKE (WATT)

Margaret Watt left England for Fairbridge as a 10 year old with her 12 year old twin sisters Joy and June and 13 year old sister Rosemary in 1940. With the outbreak of the Second World War the party of 30 children sailed via Canada and was to be the last group of child migrants to Fairbridge for another seven years. Margaret left Fairbridge after 6 years in 1946 to be with her mother who had followed the children out to Australia. This interview was recorded in Margaret’s home in Sydney on January 31, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

MARGARET MCLAUCHLAN

Scottish Margaret McLauchlan left Northumberland and came to Australia as 5 year old with her 6 year old brother Frank in 1938. Originally they were sent to the Northcotte children’s home in Victoria but were moved during the Second World War with 38 other children to the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong in 1944. Margaret left Fairbridge as a 17 year old in 1949. This interview was recorded in Margaret’s Sydney home on February 8, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf).

GWEN COLE

Gwen Miller came as a 10 year old from Grimsby to Fairbridge with her 7 year old sister Kath and her 4 year old brother Reg and 9 year old Doug, arriving in Sydney in June 1952. An older brother, 14 year old Hughie, joined them at Fairbridge in July the following year. Gwen stayed at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded in Gloucester House at Fairbridge Farm School Molong on February 9, 2006.

Download transcript (pdf)

PETER BENNETT

Peter Bennett came from Suffolk to Fairbridge as a 6 year old in 1940 with his 9 year old sister Marie. With the outbreak of the Second World War Peter and Marie sailed with 28 other children via Canada in what was to be the last group of child migrants to Fairbridge for another seven years. Peter was to stay at Fairbridge for 10 years. This interview was recorded in Peter’s home in Sydney on February 15, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

JOYCE WHITBY DRURY

Joyce Drury came to Fairbridge as a 10 year old from Birkdale, Lancashire arriving in Sydney in June 1938. She was to stay at Fairbridge for 7 years. This interview was recorded with Tony Myers at Joyce’s home in regional New South Wales on February 21, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

DENNIS PIERCY

Dennis Piercy came to Fairbridge as an 8 year old with his 5 year old brother Barnie, arriving in Sydney in May 1955. Dennis stayed at Fairbridge for 9 years. This interview was recorded at Gloucester House, Fairbridge Farm School, on March 3, 2006.

 Download transcript (pdf)

RETRIEVED http://www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibition/fairbridge/fairbridge-transcripts/index.html

TOWARDS RECOVERY

BLUE KNOT FOUNDATION FACT SHEET FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED CHILDHOOD TRAUMA (INCLUDING ABUSE)

1 Childhood trauma stems from overwhelming negative experiences in early life. It can take many forms (eg. sexual,emotional,physicalabuseandneglect).Itcanalso occur without abuse if early caregivers were unable
to meet your emotional needs (e.g. because they had unresolved trauma histories themselves).

2 Unresolved childhood trauma negatively impacts 8 health and well-being in adulthood. It affects both emotional and physical health (the whole person’)
and the full impacts may not become apparent until
years later.

3 It is possible to heal from childhood trauma. Research shows that with the right support, even severe early life trauma can be resolved. It also shows that when an adult has resolved their childhood trauma, it benefits their children or the children they may later have.
Children develop coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of childhood trauma. It is normal to want to feel better, and if you were traumatised as a child the need to escape’ feelings can be intense.

4 Effects of childhood trauma include anxiety, depression, health problems (emotional and physical), disconnection, isolation, confusion, being ‘spaced out’, and fear of intimacy and new experiences. There 10 is no one size fits all’, but reduced quality of life is a constant.

5 Survivors are often on ‘high alert’. Even minor stress can trigger ‘out of proportion’ responses. Your body continues to react as if you are still in danger, and this can be explained in terms of unresolved prior experience.

6 Survivors often struggle with shame and self-blame. But childhood trauma and its established effects are NOT your fault, even though you may feel otherwise (often because this is what you were encouraged to believe as a child when you were vulnerable and still developing).

7 Self-blame can be especially strong if you experienced any positive physical sensations (which is not an uncommon body response) in relation to abuse you have undergone. Physical reaction to sexual abuse does NOT mean desire for, or agreement to, it. Children cannot consent to, much less ‘cause’, sexual or other forms of abuse.

8 Children develop coping mechanisms to deal with the effects of childhood trauma. It is normal to want to feel better, and if you were traumatised as a child the need to `escape’ feelings can be intense.

9 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.

10 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.

11 Coping mechanisms develop for a reason, serve a purpose, and can be highly effective in the short term. But some methods of coping (e.g. excessive alcohol use) can be risky in themselves. Addictions (to food, sex, drugs), avoidance of contact with others (which reinforces isolation) and compulsive behaviours of various kinds (in attempts to run from the underlying problem which, because it is unaddressed, doesn’t go away) are all ways people try to cope.

RETRIEVED https://www.blueknot.org.au/Portals/2/Fact%20Sheets%20Info/Fact_Sheet_Survivors.pdf

National Redress Scheme (8.5.20)


The newsletter gives an update on the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme). It covers the First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme and recent data on application progress.

The newsletter contains material that could be confronting or distressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories, particularly for people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma. 

Support is available to help you if you need it. To find out more, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au/support.

If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available through:

beyondblue1300 224 636

MensLine Australia1300 789 978

Lifeline: 13 11 14


First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme

The First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme was released on 3 May 2020. The report is available here. The report includes 14 recommendations concerning the implementation of the Scheme. The recommendations are now being considered.

The Joint Select Committee was established in September 2019 to inquire into and report on:

  • the Australian Government policy, program and legal response to the redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including the establishment and operation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and ongoing support of survivors
  • any matter in relation to the Royal Commission’s redress related recommendations referred to the committee by a resolution of either House of the Parliament.

Application progress as at 24 April 2020

As of 24 April 2020, the Scheme: 

  • had received 6,716 applications
  • had made 2,093 decisions, including 1,751 payments totalling over $136.8 million
  • had made 370 offers of redress, which applicants have six months to consider
  • was processing 3,843 applications
  • had 859 applications on hold, including 526 because one or more institution named had not yet joined.

Find out more

To find out more about the Scheme, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas and leave a message.First Interim ReportCopyright © 2020 Australian Government, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

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Australian GovernmentGPO Box 9820CanberraACT2601Australia
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Getting the National Redress Scheme right

The report ‘Getting the National Redress Scheme right: An overdue step towards justice’ suggested the Scheme should be measured against three core principles:

1 the Scheme must be survivor-focussed and trauma-informed;

2 the Redress process must proceed on the basis of ‘do no further harm’ to the survivor; and

3 amendments to the Scheme must be subject to proper consultation with key survivor groups.

(This is an extract from the Chair’s Foreword of First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme (April 2020). A PDF of it should be made available in our Library + can be retrieved from https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportjnt/024473/toc_pdf/FirstInterimReportoftheJointSelectCommitteeonImplementationoftheNationalRedressSchemeApril2020.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf. For further explanation, the Introduction text is reposted as follows –

1. Introduction

Background to the interim report

1.1The Joint Select Committee (Committee) was formed to inquire into the Australian Government policy, program and legal response to the redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including the establishment and operation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and ongoing support of survivors. 1.2The Committee is required to table its final report in May 2022.1.3Section 192 of the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 (the Act) provides that the relevant Minister must conduct a review of the National Redress Scheme (NRS) as soon as possible after the second anniversary of NRS operation. The Committee notes that the NRS commenced 1 July 2018, and as such, the review must commence prior to 30 June 2020. 1.4Early in its deliberations, the Committee resolved that its first priority should be to review the early experience of survivors with the NRS and use their evidence to identify priority issues that should be addressed by the second anniversary review. 1.5It is the Committee’s expectation that the Minister for Families and Social Services and the Department of Social Services (DSS) accept the findings in this interim report and ensure that the matters identified are incorporated into the terms of reference and design of the second anniversary review as a matter of priority.


Objectives and Scope1.6On 2 April 2020, the Committee announced that it would table an interim report into the implementation of the NRS to reflect the evidence received so far by the Committee.11.7It remains the Committee’s intention that this report will inform the work and priorities of the legislated second anniversary review of the NRS which is to commence after 30 June 2020.1.8The Committee has resolved to finalise a second interim report before tabling its final report in May 2022. 

Conduct

1.9On 13 February 2020, the Committee issued a media release announcing initial public hearing program. Due to matters associated with COVID-19 on 16 March 2020, a separate media release was published noting the hearing program would continue as advised via teleconference.1.10Since the establishment of the Committee, six public hearings have been held. Transcripts can be found on the Committee website and a list of witnesses that appeared is at Appendix A.1.11The Committee invited submissions to be received by 29 May 2020, noting that submissions could be received after that date. The Committee also informed people that confidential and name withheld submissions would also be received. To date the Committee has received 20 submissions, which are listed at Appendix B. 

Report Outline

1.12Chapter 1 details the scope of the activities conducted to undertake the interim report and includes discussion of the Committees aims for the interim report. 1.13Chapter 2 provides a background to the development of the NRS, and discusses how the government has implemented the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Consideration of previous parliamentary committee findings is also included in this section. 1.14Chapter 3 examines the NRS application process. The three components of an offer of redress including monetary payment, counselling services and direct personal responses are also examined.1.15Chapter 4 considers NRS participation and examines factors that may be influencing a survivor’s decision on whether to apply for redress through the NRS. The number and rate of institutions joining the NRS is also discussed. 1.16Chapter 5 discusses the appropriateness of funder of last resort provisions within the Act.1.17Chapter 6 outlines areas that the Committee believe need to be examined in order to maximise the opportunities of the second anniversary review to deliver improved survivor experiences and outcomes from the NRS.1.18Throughout the interim report the Committee has included quotes that refer to the NRS as the scheme or redress scheme. The Committee has not amended these references.1.19Two appendices accompany this report and provide details on submissions received and a list of witnesses who appeared before the Committee. 1.20A copy of this report, transcripts of hearings and submissions received are available on the Committee’s website at www.aph.gov.au/redress