UK government accused of knowingly sending children to ‘crook’ institutions in Australia
Canberra: The UK Government continued to send child migrants to Australian institutions despite knowing they were being mistreated, according to allegations in a submission lodged to the UK inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse. David Hill, who in 1959, aged 12, was sent to Fairbridge Farm School in New South Wales, said “the British government knew that these institutions were crook and unfit for children”.
Mr Hill said as a result of a 1956 British parliamentary fact-finding mission to Australia, a list was drawn up of homes that were deemed unfit to receive more migrant children. The list of “Category A” homes encompassed institutions in all six states and included the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong. A UK Home Office memo stated that the 10 institutions “would need a complete metamorphosis” to get them into a state where they would be deemed to pass muster. Mr Hill said the list was never acted upon for reasons of political expediency, a situation he said meant hundreds more children were placed in institutions where it is now accepted there was frequent physical, emotional and sexual abuse. ABC