News

"Everyone was abused," says NC Children's Home survivor

The North Coast Children's Home.
The North Coast Children's Home. The Northern Star Archives

AS MORE revelations come out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, one man is asking: "What about other forms of abuse?"

GG (the man did not want to identify himself) was a resident at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore from 1959-1970.

Since 2008 he has been fighting the Anglican Church over the abuse he suffered that left him suicidal and unable to function in society.

"I'm not playing down the sexual assaults, but everyone was abused and it's not how you got to the result, it's what the end result was," GG said.

Kids were bloody terrified ... there was no maternal instinct at all ... all you heard in that place was kids bawling and screaming

During his 12 years at the home GG was exposed to countless beatings, intimidation, psychological abuse and public humiliation by staff.

He said children were fearful all the time.

"They used to walk around with this horse whip," he said.

"They would sneak around and the next minute they're coming up behind you ... and for the slightest misdemeanour they would beat you.

"Kids were bloody terrified ... there was no maternal instinct at all ... all you heard in that place was kids bawling and screaming."

He described how, after wetting the bed, he was forced to put a nappy on and parade in front of kids who were made to laugh at him.

"There are so many mental illness things that go on because of what went on there.

After leaving the home, GG applied to join an Army apprenticeship scheme.

But the Army psychiatrist said they didn't have "time or the money" to treat him.

"That was the best opportunity I could have had in my life ... but because of how I was treated in the home I was kicked out and that's why I reckon they (the Church) owe me (compensation)."

A psychiatrist's report prepared in 2008 describes a range of conditions that can be attributed to his time in the home.

... they'll stand up and say how wonderful they are when they just walked up and spat in our faces again

But because GG's abuse was not of a sexual nature (although this did occur to others at the North Coast Children's Home) he said he and others are being ignored and their claims for compensation downgraded.

Recently the Anglican Church offered just $3000.

At the same time there were reports of others offered up to $75,000.

"It's just an insult and just causes more resentment and frustration," he said.

"This is just taking one group so they can stand up in front of the Royal Commission and say 'We've done all this. We've paid up to $75,000' ... they'll stand up and say how wonderful they are when they just walked up and spat in our faces again.

"The main issue of how the kids were affected is being missed."

  • CLAN is a support group for people who grew up in orphanages and children's homes. You can find the group's website here or phone them on 1800 008 774.

Topics:  anglican church, north coast children's home




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Oakes Oval upgrade expected to be announced

A healthy crowd turned out to see the Melbourne Heart players oversee a coaching and signing session at Lismore's Oakes Oval.

Deputy PM in Lismore for announcement

Casino’s part in the State of Origin story

Casino product Ben Kennedy when he last played in the State of Origin series in 2005 with the NSW Blues.

Ben Kennedy and Matt King part of successful NSW Blues teams

Latest deals and offers

Fair go skin cancer

Skin cancer specialists needed in Lismore

Fair go skin cancer

Aussie milk crisis

Local vendors sell Norco

Aussie milk crisis but local vendors sell local Norco milk.

Wood chopper wants you to buy wood

If you've got a stove, get out here and buy some wood

Wood chopper wants you to buy wood

Lismore real estate agent celebrates 100th birthday

LJ Hooker Lismore principal Paul Deegan is the third generation to operate the 100-year-old family business.

A Lismore real estate is celebrating 100 years in business.

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home