Horrific and heartbreaking stories are being told by former residents of the government operated Parramatta Girls Training School (pictured – also known as Parramatta Girls Home.) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, today, Wednesday, February 26. http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/newsroom/webcasts/ The women speak with searing honesty, strength and dignity. The high personal, emotional cost of bearing witness in this way is nonetheless partly outweighed by the relief of being heard respectfully by a government agency. They hope to contribute to healing processes within their families and society, to bring remaining perpetrators of abuse to justice, and the implementation of child welfare policies that give children a voice, allow them to be heard, understood and cared for.
It seems amazing that some of these women have survived at all to tell their stories with such passion and clarity. It is little short of a miracle that a small group of former girls, led by Bonney Djuric, is committed to turning the site – part of the colonial Parramatta Female Factory Precinct – into a place of healing, education, creativity and ultimately, Australia’s first National Site of Conscience. To this end, they are organising a Children’s Day at the Parramatta site, on Sunday, March 9.