Parliamentary Apology in Melbourne

 Parliamentary Apology in Melbourne

The Premier, The Hon Jacinta Allan today delivered an Apology to those people who were abused as children in the care of Victoria's institutions.

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

Former child migrants and their families outside the Victorian Parliament on the day of the Apology

Former British child migrants who attended the event spoke warmly of the Premier's sincerity and the strength of her message.

Thomas Wilson, who was sent from Scotland to Dhurringile, Victoria in 1960 said: "Today was a good day, positive and heartfelt. Whilst you learn to live with what happened to us as children, it never really leaves you."

A former child migrant holding the text of the Apology at the Victorian Parliament

Sandra Anker commented: "Today was a long time coming, nearly fifteen years after the Australian Government's Apology in 2009. But it's an important moment for child migrants and our families. Even more important is what comes next. An apology is the starting point, not the end of the government's responsibility towards its citizens. We look forward to the promised redress scheme that covers ALL forms of abuse and exploitation to children who were failed by this State."

Former child migrants wore black armbands in memory of those who did not survive to witness this apology.

Tony Hall said: 'I'm here today representing my late brother Phillip and my family in England who were betrayed by the British and Australian governments as well. Child migration was a terrible scheme, made worse by the Victorian government's complete disregard for vulnerable children in their care. Children who had nobody to turn to. I'm thankful to the Premier for her acknowledgement of our suffering, but wish this had been done a long time ago.'

Read the Premier's media statement on the Parliamentary Apology here.

Text of the Victorian Apology

Published: 23 February 2024