Apology from: Queensland Government

25th August 1999

On August 25 1999 the Queensland government, together with representatives of religious authorities including the Catholic and Anglican churches and the Salvation Army, issued a formal apology for instances of past abuse and neglect in Queensland institutions. The apology was given in direct response to the findings of the State’s Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions (the Forde Inquiry), which reported on 31 May 1999. The apology was:

We the government and churches together welcome the report of the Forde Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions. We acknowledge that there have been failures with respect to the children entrusted to our care, despite all the good the Institutions did in the light of their day. The result has been a system in which some children have suffered maltreatment, and their social, emotional, and physical needs have been neglected. We sincerely apologise to all those people who suffered in any way while resident in our facilities, and express deep sorrow and regret at the hurt and distress suffered by those who were victims of abuse. We accept the finding of the Forde Inquiry that government under-funding and consequent under-resourcing was a significant factor in the failure to provide adequate services to children in care

We are committed to establishing and continuing dialogue with victims of abuse in institutions to discuss the basis for providing appropriate responses. We acknowledge that discussions are well advanced between some parties.

We are committed to working together with victims of abuse in institutions to ensure the provision of appropriately coordinated services through the establishment of a ‘one stop shop’, as recommended by the Forde Inquiry.

This initiative will be integrated with church and government run services and processes for bringing about reconciliation with victims of abuse in institutions. The focus will be on providing victims with the most effective path to healing. We are committed to continuing to provide such services as long as they are needed.

We recognise the value of formal reconciliation experiences in healing the hurt some have suffered, and undertake to plan these in consultation with former residents.

We are committed to doing all we reasonably can to ensure that children in our care are not subject to abuse and neglect. Further, we are committed to ongoing review and improvement of our services to children and families.