The Enoggera Boys Home in Brisbane, which was run by the Anglican Church, is another of the homes deserving of a closer look by the Royal Commission.
Earlier postings have drawn attention to the need for greater scrutiny of Australian volunteers going to South East Asian “orphanages”. The Enoggera Home serves as an example of why this is necessary. Former Queensland police officer, Graham Leonard Noyes, used his position as a volunteer at Enoggera to abuse a boy. Something of the power distance between victim and abuser stands out here.
While full time “carers” have been able to be tracked down for punishment, it is much more difficult to track down volunteers who may go to several institutions for short periods of time. These abusers are afforded a certain degree of anonymity because of poor record-keeping, and the likelihood victims will have a poor memory of them, which interferes with identification. Victims are inhibited from coming forward because their case is not only likely to be disbelieved, as many of the perpetrators were very prominent members of society, but offences are also very difficult to prove.
Many attacks by volunteer visitors and people taking children out for the day on excursions, probably have not been reported for this very reason. The issue of volunteers should be raised at the royal commission, in the context of both historical cases in Australia and current cases in other countries.
Another important aspect of the Enoggera Boys Home is that it is where many of the Indigenous “Stolen Generation” boys were sent. Each year, a ceremony is held at the nearby Teralba Park Memorial Plaque to them. Last year, the Anglican Church received a $4000 grant to help reconnect former residents of the home, but no activity has been apparent for this money.
Another plaque should be placed in the grounds of the Hillbrook Anglican School, which is on the site of the old home. Its Home Economics and Computer Labs facilities are located in the old home buildings. Students of the school should be made aware of the history of the school site, and afford former residents appropriate respect.
The present value of the school should be offered in compensation to the victims.
[Postscript: Yesterday, there were calls by David Shoebridge and Nicky Davis for Bishop Wilson to give his evidence to the NSW Enquiry in public. If this call is not heeded, there appears to be interest in the Change.org petition mentioned yesterday. If there is someone who knows how to do this petition, perhaps they could put up something and promote it?].
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TOMORROW: Riverview Salvation Army Boys Home
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)