Maltese child migrants who were raped, tortured and emotionally abused at four Christian Brother’s homes in Western Australia will be among those giving evidence in an inquiry staring tomorrow, the Herald Sun reported.
The newspaper said that many of those giving evidence were sent to Australia from the UK and Malta after the war for what was supposed to be a better life.
310 Maltese were sent to Australia as child migrants between 1950 and 1965 as part of a scheme promising parents a better future for their children.
It later emerged they were forced to work in institutions and many were not educated. A number of them suffered physical and sexual abuse.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse will be looking specifically into the experiences of former residents sent to Castledare, Clontarf, Bindoon and Tardun orphanages from the late 1940s up until the 1960s.
A secret report, which has never been made public in full, was prepared in the 1990s and contains evidence of correspondence between Brother PA Conlon, the principal of the order in WA during the 1940s, and another brother about the possibility of “scandals”.
It also contains notes written by Brother Conlon where he says there was a need to hide the complaints from “outsiders” so they “do not become aware” of the abuse.
Around 25 survivors and their families are expected to hold a vigil outside the hearing.