Apology from: Premier Steven Bracks

9th August 2006

The Victorian apology was delivered in the Victorian parliament on 9 August 2006 by the then Premier Steve Bracks.  The standing orders of the parliament were suspended to allow the Premier, the leaders of the Liberal and National parties and the Minister for Community Services to make statements.  The apology was:

The government of Victoria welcomes the report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee, Forgotten Australians, which was tabled in the Senate on 30 August 2004, as it offers an opportunity to offer a public statement of apology about some of the past practices in the provision of out-of-home care services in Victoria.

The report provides a detailed picture of the life experiences of many people who as children spent all or part of their childhood in institutional care across Australia. The experiences of many of these children were distressing and have had an enduring detrimental effect on their lives. The Victorian government believes it is important that these histories are known, are heard and are acknowledged.

The government is working hard to ensure that those unacceptable past practices are never ever again experienced by any Victorian child.

We acknowledge that there have been failures with respect to many children entrusted to care.

As a result of being placed in care, many of these children lost contact with their families.

The state, the churches and community agencies cared for thousands of children over the years. For those who were abused and neglected, the message we wish to give to them is that we acknowledge their pain and their hurt.

We are also committed to working together with survivors of abuse and neglect in care to promote the healing process.

We take the opportunity provided by the release of this report to express our deep regret and apologise sincerely to all of those who as children suffered abuse and neglect whilst in care and to those who did not receive the consistent loving care that every child needs and deserves.