UK to follow Australian apology for ‘Lost Innocents’?

Clontarf Boys Town, outside Perth, Western Australia. Posted by Michael Gormley on his blog

It was an emotional day for Australia on Monday when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd publicly apologised to the estimated 500,000 children who were abused in government institutions between the 1930s and 1970s - what he called "The absolute tragedy of childhoods lost".

Instead of being adopted or placed in foster care, children aged between three and 14 years-old were placed in institutions where they are reported to have been emotionally, physically and/or sexually abused. About 7,000 to 10,000 of them were child migrants from the UK, known in Australia as the ‘Lost Innocents'.

After Rudd's emotional apology, there are growing calls for the British government to issue a similar admission to the 150,000 youngsters they forcibly shipped to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries. In 1998 an extensive UK parliament report into the programme revealed serious flaws and subsequently, grave consequences. But as yet, no British premier has delivered an official apology.

© ABCNews

Contributors

“An acknowledgment of what happened, but it won't make any difference to my life”

Michael Gormley writes a blog called Clontarf Boys Town, where he gathers stories of other child migrants and reflects on his time at the school of the same name outside Perth, Western Australia. He was sent to Australia in 1953, at the age of eight.

I think Rudd's apology was necessary: it's an acknowledgment of the fact that childhood deprivation and abuse really did happen.

Society has changed since the 50s - children were never believed if they complained of being abused and many of the children didn't know any different. Who could one turn to? Most if not all the children had been abandoned or deprived. The only ‘home' that was familiar was a convent or orphanage.

Many of the child migrants didn't complain of their treatment until many years after their incarceration, mainly due to fear. Institutional life is all about control and fear. Most of those child migrants were terrified little boys who were uprooted from their country of origin and transported 12,000 miles to an orphanage - or ‘chamber of horrors' - in Australia.  Fortunately (through the grace of God) after many years of counselling, I made a complete recovery.

The UK should follow up with a similar apology to its child migrants for the benefit of those who haven't come to terms with their history. For me personally it is an acknowledgment of what happened, but it won't make any difference to my life."

Clontarf Boys Town, outside Perth, Western Australia. Posted by Michael Gormley on his blog.

Child migrants. Posted by Michael Gormley on his blog.

Clontarf Boys Town, outside Perth, Western Australia. Posted by Michael Gormley on his blog.

Comments

clontarf boys town

i was an orphan at the boystown from 1966 to 1968
together with my 2 brothers colin and alex
under brother flanagen and brother mcgee
and was also mistreated nearly every day.
it took me 30 years to dare go back to australia.
i live in holland and am stil in rage of wat happend to me
and my brothers.i would like to contact anyone who was
there at that time. yours sincerely jack de rover

This is really sounds sad to me

This story struck me when I followed it through the English news stations.
Really sad to differentiate people in the whole of his sons and their children to create a new generation in Australia. Rather than have to move to the Commission and found themselves in a different world
from the world of luxury which they enjoy with their parents.
Is unfortunate and I sympathize with you All .

Shreela Flather, Baroness

Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather, bentham (Articial intellingence etcetrea) hannah stinsonb let me say satanson, peter clasen is a machine ?

out of india, you your famlily there, no more common wealth in india, no more england in india, i'm traveling there, if you expect to kill me as you done for many artists.. lennon, presley, michael jackson,

sweden still supporting uk, who still support UK may be ben gourion and descendance hein ? is it this humanism ? is it ?

who likes UK ? for all this ? whose ? for rolls royce motors that burns while flight and kill people, no there's insurance for this tro calm down things and make us forget, the market that decides wich country is to satbilize or not ?

the problem is that you'd never succed, neveur [deleted]

mister sheppard, let me say to you ; [deleted]

to those idiots that slill claims sava the planet, save the planet while drinking beer and sniffing coke in sex parties organized by machines, yes the big ben machine, where did your mind go ?

ure still british or proud to be ?

shame on you UK, shame,

the olympic games in 2012 are u sure ?

[deleted]

je veux dire la famille du

[deleted]

andy murray, r u playing for britain, for yourself or both ? please answer before tomorrow

[deleted]

UK, commonwealth, i hate you

uk & ausatan apologies

why innocents aren't ?

I don't accept apologizes

for duce,

from now and for ever, [deleted]

UK, i repeat no excuses for hong kong

[deleted] no terrorism = no terrorism, it's easy to understand. and i'll terminate it if nobody can, please maccain accept this mission for me try to get frogivness for vietnam before i come

EDL, don't waste your time for the youngest, adults may i say that what u do can not bring alcohol, may be

hugo chavez, stop

oil companies, i repeat stop as soon as possible

to recycling industries, stop

[deleted]

thank you

thank you Michael Gormley Michael Gormley

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