Gordon Brown Will Apologise To Child Migrants Who Suffered Abuse In Australia
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown will today (Wednesday) make a formal apology to hundreds of former child migrants who were mistreated when they were shipped off to Australia during the 1950s and 60s. Hundreds of British children were sent to Australia for a b
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown will today (Wednesday) make a formal apology to hundreds of former child migrants who were mistreated when they were shipped off to Australia during the 1950s and 60s.
Hundreds of British children were sent to Australia for a better life, but many suffered terrible physical abuse at the hands of those caring for them.
Mepal resident Monica Crane told the Ely Standard she had been waiting since 1953 to hear an apology from the Government and admitted that after making a personal trip to Westminster last week she now felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders.
She says Mr Brown spoke of his regret and apologised for the UK Government's role in sending thousands of children to Australia during the 1950s and 60s.
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Thousands of young children, some of them orphans, were sent for a 'better life' down under but were subjected to years of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their carers.
Speaking exclusively to the Ely Standard Mrs Crane, said: "I have been waiting for an apology for more than 50 years and it was a weight off of my shoulders.
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"I was uncertain up until late last week whether I was going to even be invited but I finally received a call from the Department of Health inviting me to come to London.
"Only a select number were invited to attend and I thought that wasn't fair, I think everyone who suffered should have been there."
Australian premier Kevin Rudd, issued a formal apology in November last year and it was announced that an apology from the British Government would follow in early 2010.
Several hundred former migrants were invited to Westimster on Wednesday, some of whom were flown in as guests of the Government from Australia and New Zealand.
Mrs Crane, who suffered years of horrific physical abuse that has left an impression on her some 50 years later, had to pay for the trip to London and an overnight hotel in the city out of her own pocket.
"Some friends of mine were flown over from Australia and put up in a hotel for three nights but I was told they didn't have the money to pay for my journey and accommodation.
"I don't think this will be the end of the issue for me, I am still waiting to receive my compensation from the Australian Government and as British citizens I think our Government should be offering compensation also."
5502: Mepal resident Monica Crane.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE.