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Berry Street Apology to Australians who experienced harm in institutional care as children from Berry Street

On behalf of Berry Street and our founding agencies1, we apologise unreservedly for any physical, psychological, sexual or social harm that may have occurred to children and young people in our care.

The Senate Inquiry into children in Institutional Care2 (Forgotten Australians, August 2004) highlighted a number of cases where children suffered at the hands of caregivers. The Inquiry painted a disturbing picture of life for many children who lived in Institutional Care.

Berry Street welcomes the Senate Inquiry and its recommendations that provide a basis on which governments at all levels, and care providers, may move forward together by acknowledging past wrongs and addressing them appropriately.

Berry Street is dedicated to learning lessons from the past, and we re-commit ourselves to ensuring that everybody involved in delivering service and care to children and young people, will work together so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. We are committed to working with governments, other organisations and care leavers to respond to the issues which have been identified by the Inquiry.

Mary Clark

Past President

Sandie de Wolf AM

Past Chief Executive Officer

1. Berry Street Inc; Berry Street Child and Family Care; Berry Street Babies’ Home and Hospital; The Foundling Hospital and Infants Home; The Victorian Infant Asylum and Foundling Hospital; The Victorian Infant Asylum; Sutherland Child, Youth and Family Services; and Sutherland Homes for Children.

2. Institutional Care refers to: “orphanages, large children’s homes, training schools, dormitory or group cottage homes, juvenile detention centres or other forms of out of home care such as foster care” Forgotten Australians Senate Committee Report, August 2004, p. 8.

August 2006