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Parliamentary apology to care leavers

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan delivers an apology to care leavers in Parliament.

The Allan Labor Government made a formal apology in the Victorian Parliament today to Victorians who experienced historical abuse and neglect as children in institutional care.

While many of the recommendations from the 2004 Senate inquiry into children in institutional care  are yet to be realised, public acknowledgment and recognition of their experiences is a significant and welcome milestone for survivors.

More than 90,000 children were placed in care in Victoria prior to 1990, where many experienced various forms of abuse including physical, psychological, emotional and child sexual abuse.

Several inquiries into the challenges and experiences of pre-1990 care leavers have made recommendations for redress, including the desire for formal recognition.

Premier Jacinta Allan acknowledged a shameful chapter in the State’s  history.

“To those children, who were abused and neglected during their time in care, we humbly and unreservedly apologise.

“That you were needlessly separated from your brothers and sisters – sometimes growing up within the same four walls – but never being allowed to know each other.

“For the grief of being removed from your parents, often without explanation – and the years spent fighting to find your family, sometimes in vain.

“To those who died without getting the respect or recognition they deserved.

“To the children who lost their lives while in the guardianship of the state, whose voices were silenced forever.

“And to the families who were broken, permanently.

“We failed you. For this, we are deeply sorry,” she said.

 

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