Lip service 'not enough': ex-ward

NICHOLAS KOSTYN has rejected an invitation to attend today’s apology to the ‘Forgotten Australians’, saying the Federal Government is only paying lip service to those abused as children.

Mr Kostyn, who was placed in a home at 18 months, is calling on the Federal Government to offer ex-wards real help to recover from the trauma.

“People say I shouldn’t complain, they fed me there, but children need more than that,” he said.

“We got more than that, we often got beaten senseless.”

Mr Kostyn said he was disgusted with Community Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin, who said it wasn’t up to the Federal Government to compensate because state governments had run the homes.

“I don’t want to attend the apology because I don’t think it is sincere,” he said.

Mr Kostyn said a Senate inquiry into the practice of institutionalising children had come up with 39 recommendations.

But the Federal Government to date had adopted only one – apologising.

“The Federal Government’s reaction is ad hoc,” he said.

He called on the Government to revisit the recommendations.

“One of the recommendations calls for an alternative type of aged care for ex-state wards, because they would be traumatised if institutionalised again,” he said.

“Some of these people who were placed in homes in the 1920s are now in their 80s and are still suffering.”

Mr Kostyn said he had been lobbying the Federal Government to set up a shopfront service for the North Coast that could help ex-wards access help.

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