NSW Government and Churches to apologise to abuse victims
Church groups and the New South Wales Government have said sorry to the thousands of orphans and foster children abused while they were in the state's care.
Hundreds attended a service in Sydney's botanical gardens where New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees delivered a formal apology to the estimated 200,000 people who grew up in state care, many of whom were sexually abused and lived lives of hardship.
"I'm sorry for any hurt and distress you suffered in the care of the state, this should never have happened," Mr Rees said.
The Bishop of South Sydney, Reverend Robert Forsyth, read an apology at the service on behalf of organisations like Anglicare, Catholic Care and the Salvation Army.
"For the children and young people who were neglected mistreated and abused, we are sorry," he said.
"For the families who entrusted their children to us and whose expectations were not met, we are sorry."
Janet Ball says she has asked Mr Rees to look into compensation after losing her attempt in the courts.
"I was kicked I was bashed, I was locked up in solitary confinement," she said.
Peter Woodhouse says he drove all the way from Brisbane to be at the service.
"Well its taken 59 years for me, for them to say sorry, that's what it means to me," he said.
NSW Community Services Minister, Linda Burney, says a $9 million funding boost will help people access personal information and dedicated counselling.
"Part of the apology is the recognition that this was a pretty unpleasant experience for many people - it's part of our history," she said.
"There'll also be a lot of work done around providing case work for people that really have struggled with their experience."
The Federal Government has welcomed the New South Wales apology and is set to deliver its own by the end of the year.