Wednesday, 9 May 2007

"Every Childhood Lasts A Lifetime". A Shameful History Revealed.

DAVID HILL, a former ABC (Australia) managing director explores a part of Australia's shameful history, in his new book.

"THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN" OF FAIRBRIDGE FARM, and its betrayal of Australia's Child Migrants.
This is a personal story for David Hill, who in 1959 was sent with his brothers to Australia for a better education and life, by a reluctant but destitute mother who thought she was doing the best thing for her boys.
David and his brothers were lucky; his mother was able to be reunited with her sons three years later when they settled in Sydney, but in between those years the Hill boys endured a criminally harsh life at Fairbridge Farm.

From 1938 to 1974 thousands of children were sent from Britain to Molong, in western NSW, to a farm set up by a British society with the aim of alleviating child poverty in Britain, while populating the far reaches of the British Empire.

David Hill collates the lives of the Fairbridge children - the sadistic abuse they suffered, the child labour they endured, all underscored by a brutal loneliness and a lack of affection that would have a huge impact on their adult lives.

It's the first - person recollections that are most compelling, and David gives judicious rein to these snippets.

At Fairbridge, where children as young as four were taken from their parents and made to work, only sissies cried and the unspoken rule was never to cry out during canings. The only crying was done at night, in bed into the pillow.

The litany of abuse against children in David Hill's book is heartbreaking. A little boy, up since 3am working in the dairy, is allowed by a kind teacher to lay his head on his desk and sleep; a sexually abused six year old girl is routinely flogged for wetting the bed; an old man who still has scars on his legs from beatings with ironing cords; a child forced to eat porridge crawling with weevils, vomiting it up and then forced to eat it, then there was the crawling maggot infested mutton stew.

As David Hills mother observed on collecting her boys, It was like something out of "Oliver Twist". Except this was the 20th century.

14 comments:

Vest said...

When reading about this farm and its atrocious goings on, it led me back to The Dickensian school that I attended as a boarder for over five years from the age of ten and a half years, in England.
But at that age I was more able to cope than that of a four year old, facing up to abuse at that shocking Fairbridge Farm facility in Australia.
Later I may post a snippet giving you an insight to the School that I attended, this will be quite an eye opener.

lower deck lawyer said...

LAW firm Slater and Gordon say's it examining whether to launch legal action on behalf of the former residents of the Fairbridge Farm Children's home at Molong, west of Sydney NSW Australia.
The Fairbridge Farm Home closed more than thirty years ago but has been the centre of claims of sexual and physical abuse by former residents.
Meetings of the residents will be held in Sydney and Orange NSW
later this month.

Oh , about those snippets you mentioned, surely most bloggers would have heard of them by now?
Keep up the good work, Mike.

Vest said...

Mike : It will turn into one of those smelly compensation circuses [be-wigged eagles soar down from aloft and fly away with compo] meanwhile back at the farm,(Ranch for Zane Gray addicts) victims reach into empty pockets.

Amy from Swansea. said...

The state govt will foot the bill meaning us the taxpayers :((( transgressors get smack on wrist:) victims get sweet F A :((((Lawyers buy new BMW or fly to Hawaii:))))))).

Good post.

Keshi said...

Childhood is the foundation of ur entire life. I feel extremely sorry that David n his brothers had thier childhood marred in that cruel manner.

Keshi.

Wally said...

Hello mr vest. I have been told that 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name

lower deck lawyer said...

And so we have to tell Wally that he is nearly right, as 99% of statistics are also made up on the spot.

Jim said...

how i hate unhappy childhoods

my memory of unhappy childhood was only the fact that my mom didnt love my dad who i adored

JD's Rose said...

There are far too many people with troubling stories from their past...

xxx

Vest said...

Lawyers are taking the law into their own hands so it seems in Chicago.
A racy billboard proclaiming "life's Short, Get a Divorce" caused such an uproar city workers stripped it from its downtown perch.
It wasn't so much the partially clothed man and woman on the law firms ad but the phrase lawyers Corri Fetman and Kelly Garland chose that drew complaints from neighbours - and from other lawyers who said it reflected poorly on their profession.(Who should have also included the statement, "Among other things").
A City councillor who lives nearby found the sign was erected without a permit and ordered it taken down.
"They ripped our billboard down without due process," Ms Fetman said. "We own that art, I feel violated."
Despite its BRIEF run, The sign apparently was good for business.
Since it went up last week, the law firm said calls had risen dramatically.
However, a City council spokesperson has allegedly told the law firm, that, they must obtain a permit in future and then they will tell them when and where to stick it.

SME said...

Nearly as bad as the Irish nuns who sold children to wealthy foreigners.

Sheenah Finch said...

3 cheers to David Hill for telling the world about Fairbridge. I was at the 'farm' in pinjarra, no better than any of the others, sad truths are hard to re-live.

Vest said...

Ah ha, Sheenah Finch, can't be found on net after 1 hour search.
come back or Email me. please.

SME:Irish nuns selling babies to foreigners...meaning Americans I presume. T F calling.

Thanks, Amy, LDL, Keshi. Jd's Rose, Jim & Wally for your comments.

JohnBraun said...

36azIt write more, thanks.

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