Apology: Help the healing process
AN apology will be issued by the Federal Government to people who were abused or neglected as children while in foster care, government or private institutions during the last century.
Speaking in Melbourne on Sunday, Minister for Families Jenny Macklin said the government, along with the opposition and other parties, would issue the apology by the end of this year.
“We’ll make sure that we do it in a way that involves people who were affected so as it does help the healing process for them.” Ms Macklin said.
Bankstown MP Jason Clare said Georges Hall resident Leonie Sheedy had been campaigning for the past nine years to bring the plight of ‘Forgotten Australians’ to national attention.
Mr. Clare said her lobbying promoted a Senate Inquiry in 2004, which received more than 600 submissions detailing graphic and disturbing accounts of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. It was that inquiry which recommended the Australian Parliament issue an apology.
“Leonie’s determination is truly inspirational, she really is a national hero,” Mr Clare said.
Ms Sheedy co-founded Care Leaver Australian Network (CLAN) in 2000, a support and advocacy group for close to half a million people who were bought up in care.
She said the apology would not have been possible without Mr Clare’s ongoing commitment and support.
“When I think of the apology I am overwhelmed with happiness and a sense of achievement for what this means to all the care leavers/survivors. The under dog, the little people,” Ms Sheedy said.
“No longer are we the Forgotten Australians – we want to be the remembered Australians,” Ms Sheedy said.