Today I will republish articles and photos from 25 years ago, before there was any Royal Commission about institutional child abuse, before any Senate Inquiry, or Forde Inquiry acknowledged their pain. They were voices crying in the wilderness, but some brave journalists helped, as you will see when reading these amazing articles from 1992 and 1993. Some are missing pages, and I will try to locate them and add when possible.
I haven’t kept in touch with most FICH members. John Munt, the closest person to an uncle one of my kids ever had, passed away a few years ago, as did Mary Keel, and of course, Lew. If any of the others are still around, I hope things got better for you. These articles, I trust, will dispel any doubts that still exist about the culpability of the State in allowing these horrors to remain hidden for so long.
FICH didn’t last. In the end, we couldn’t convince the Queensland Government to do anything to help the group. The ensuing inquiries have made recommendations. One that needs to be added is: please ask the survivors what they want. Don’t talk weasel words about ‘consultation’ and ‘ownership’. Actually ask them. John Munt wanted an inquiry into child trafficking by government departments. Lew Blayse wanted a funded support group, and to tell people what is different about Forgotten Australians, the sad, lost people you never heard of. These men have died. It would give hope to those still living if governments could have an honest conversation with them.