New Norcia Survivors Want the Truth to be Told

Our partner organisation, the Western Australian Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, has released the following Media Release (21 October 2017):

Stolen Generations Survivors who were forcibly removed to the New Norcia Mission north of Perth, gathered at New Norcia last weekend as part of their own healing journey and to grieve the loss of past members of the Stolen Generations. A key part of the Reunion was to share historic and Family Connection information lost as part of the removal process. They are sharing their experiences and asking questions about the Truth of what happened there; and they are looking for ongoing support to continue to Heal from the traumas of the past.

“The New Norcia Aboriginal Corporation coordinates regular reunions to create a space for survivors to discuss and share Family Connection information and to allow people to start or continue their own healing journey through whatever means suits them. Many conversation during this time focus on the Truth as we know it resulting from our forcible removal from our families and the various forms of abuse that many of us suffered while we were kept at the Mission”, according to spokesperson Margaret Drayton.

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released data in February this year that confirmed what we already knew. The report found 7 per cent of priests from all Catholic Church authorities who ministered from 1950 to 2010 across Australia were accused of child sexual abuse, but for the Benedictine Community of New Norcia, the amount was more than triple that at 21.5 per cent.”

“Although the Benedictine Community of New Norcia have apologised to those affected, Sadly the Benedictine community and the Catholic Church don’t appear to be prepared to explore more strategic opportunities to improve the future for survivors.. A visit to the Museum at New Norcia attempts to portray a picture of happy healthy children being well fed and looked after, but this was far from the reality of our lives!”

The WA Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation, who advocate for all Stolen Generations Survivors and their families has supported this weekend’s Reunion. Executive Director, Jim Morrison, stated:

“We are looking to the Commonwealth and State Governments to support these Survivors to expose the awful Truth of what happened to these children and to acknowledge the need for some form of Justice through compensation and comprehensive support to enable the Survivors and their families to Heal and move on.”

“We are also looking for the Catholic Church to confront the Truth about what happened at this Mission, which was being run by one of their Orders, the Benedictine Monks and Missionary Sisters until 1974. A private Confession in a Church is not acceptable for these Survivors, they need to hear a public apology from the Catholic Church for the abuse and ill treatment that occurred in their Mission”, Mr Morrison concluded.

Further comment: Margaret Drayton – Mobile: 0456 522 044
Jim Morrison – Mobile: 0408 917 133

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