British children deported
|Hopes and dreams - deported down under |
Out follows the story of the children who were deported to Australia in the 1940's,
'50s and '60s.
They say the British Government has snubbed them and will
be happy to see them die rather than help them.
Shipped Down Under
1947 and 1967 up to 10,000 children were shipped to Australia.
sent to populate a nation with what was called at the time "good white stock".
|Former child deportee John Hennessey (right) with his mother|
They were also the unwilling contestants in a competition between religious
faiths to boost their numbers.
Parents weren't told the truth.
children lost their real identities and were told they were orphans going on holiday
to a place where the sun always shines.
The policy was endorsed by Government
of the day.
It was cheaper to send children to Australia than care for
them on British soil.
It cost £5 a day to care in the UK but only
10 shillings in Australian institutions.
who suffered the harshest treatment were the boys sent to Bindoon, an isolated
institution north of Perth.
The Catholic Christian Brothers ran it.
Children built it.
British children were forced to do hard labour until
they were 16-years-old.
Some of them had unimaginable abuse inflicted
The practice continued until 1967 when it was stopped.
was a Nottinghamshire Social Worker, Margaret Humphreys who uncovered the scandal
and the scale of Britain's child migration.
|"Tony Blair can find money for wars but he can't find
money to help former child migrants be reunited with their loved ones".|
|John Hennessey, former child migrant|
years ago she established the Child Migrants Trust, a charity which helps to reunite
and support long lost families.
It's a charity which values its independence
from the agencies which sent the children away.
Yet proper funding has
been infrequent over the years.
Only the early and continued intervention
of Nottinghamshire County Council has kept the Trust going.
The Child Migrants
Trust now has bases in two Australian cities and gets Government funding towards
But the funding was cut by a third last year
for the next financial year.
This has been a huge setback for the organisation.
Sense of loss
Not all the children deported to Australia after
World War Two experienced abuse.
A few have done well for themselves.
|The child migrants were put to work|
more struggled after suffering the loss of their childhood and any sense of family.
In the worst cases the children are dead or in institutions.
MPs found out shocked them.
After the Health Committee report, the Government
announced a £1 million travel fund, to be spent over three years.
money was only for former migrants to make one visit home if close members of
their original families were still alive.
It paid for 300 reunions.
now there's nothing to keep families together or help former migrants visit graves.
Norman Johnston from the International Association of former Child
Migrants says the British Government travel fund should only have been a start,
and a failure to right the wrongs of the past is shameful.
|Opening the door to child migrant support |
November 2005 the Association went to see Helen Liddle, the High Commissioner,
They have also written to Beverley Hughes requesting a meeting,
and a letter has been sent to the Prime Minister.
What the Association
wants is redress from the British Government - reparation for individuals who
were denied justice because of the time limits on legal action.
Child Migrants Trust needs is sufficient funding to allow it to do its work tracing
and reuniting families.
Time is running out as the migrants get older.
But they are also now dealing with a second generation
migrants who are suffering because of their parents suffering.
the Trust and their substantial records are based in rented rooms above a sandwich
shop in Nottingham.
Support for former migrants
been affected by any of the issues covered in this programme, the following organisations
offer support for former child migrants and their families:
Migrants Trust - UK
28a Musters Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2
0115 982 2811 (tel)
0115 981 7168 (fax)
The Child Migrants
Trust - Melbourne, Australia
00 613 9347 7404
The Child Migrants
Trust - Perth, Australia
00 618 9386 3605
The International Association
of Former Child Migrants and their Families (IAFCM&F)
O0 618 9457
5241 - Perth, Australia
00 613 9347 7403 - Melbourne, Australia
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