For many, apology is a healing experience
CANBERRA - For many survivors of child abuse in state and church-run orphanages, money is not the issue.
What they want is recognition - recognition of the physical and emotional scars they endured as youngsters so many decades ago.
For others, it is about having enough money to help with their rehabilitation or a little extra cash so they can experience some o the joy they missed out on as a child.
Andrew Murray, a former Australian Democrats senator, says helping survivors o childhood abuse is a matter of reparations.
"When you look worldwide harsh things have happened to people, whether it's the Jews in Germany or indigenous people in America - it is reparations that is the word used," he said yesterday.
"Compensation is just one part of that."
Mr Murray was instrtunental a decade ago in setting up the first of several Senate inquiries into church and state-sanctioned abuse.
He recommended a national compensation scheme.
Now out of parliament, he advocates the need to help survivors of abuse with health needs or in finding their family.
As a child, Mr Murray was moved front the UK to the former British colony of Rhodesia, where he was placed in an orphanage. Decades later, hearing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the forgotten Australians has given hint some closure.
"If you haven't been understood or respected or believed, to have the head o your government and the leader of the opposition (Malcolm Turnbull) say that you are understood, respected and believed does bring closure," he said.
"For many people, an apology is all that the want."
Childhood abuse survivor Julie Braddock, 54, lost a kidney and sustained spleen damage from years of physical abuse suffered during her years at Nazareth House in Ballarat.
For her the apology was about being recognised as a human. Instead of monetary compensation, she would prefer help with her physical rehabilitation.
"A lot of us have got long-term health and mental issues," Ms Braddock, who did not discover her siblings until she was in her late 20s, said.