A British inquiry into sexual abuse has given details about the migrant children abuse that took place at Australian farm schools. Former ABC managing director David Hill told the inquiry that the children sent from the UK to Australia to work at farm schools had suffered from child abuse.
Hill asked the inquiry for the villains to be “named and shamed” to ensure justice to those who were abused. The ex-media professional was one of tens of thousands of children who were sent to the Australia and other Commonwealth nations for work purpose between early 20th century and the 1970s. The poor, orphaned, and migrant British children were kept in an awful condition in the countries they were sent.
According to reports, the migrant children were exploited for their labor. They were also abused sexually by the members of the church as well as charitable organizations, which were supposed to take care of them. Hill said that he was only 12-year-old when he was sent to the Fairbridge Farm School in Western Australia.
“We’ll never be able to undo the great wrong that was done to these children,” he told the British Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse on Monday. “But what is important to the survivors of sexual abuse is where this inquiry is satisfied with the evidence – name the villains. Many of them are beyond the grave and therefore beyond the law. But it would bring a great deal of the comfort to the people who as children were victims of these people if they were named and shamed.”
Hill Turns Emotional
Hill broke into tears as he shared his experience of being at an Aussie farm school. He also mentioned about a UK fact-finding mission of 1956 when it was decided that institutions mistreating migrant children would be blacklisted.
However, the political pressure from the Fairbridge Society overturned the decision. While Hill and his two brothers were lucky to have been reunited later with their mother in Australia, there were many children who did not see their parents again after being sent to Australia.
Inquiry Counsel Henrietta Hill QC said that the claims of the involvement of institutions and work environments in “systematic sexual abuse” have been heard throughout the inquiry. However, she said that the children were sent to Australia without the consent of their parents.
It was wrongly said that they were orphans. Those involved in the issue tried to keep the details of the family background of the migrant children a secret. The BBC reported that Australia apologized for the ill-treatment of the children from the UK in 2009.