find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Former child migrants launch class action against abuse

Former child migrants launch class action against abuse

_x000D_ Former client migrants have commenced a class action, seeking compensation for physical and psychological abuse suffered at the hands of staff at a farm school in remote NSW.

Former client migrants have commenced a class action, seeking compensation for physical and psychological abuse suffered at the hands of staff at a farm school in remote New South Wales. 

The action, being conducted by law firm Slater & Gordon, is believed to be the first of its kind to be lodged against an Australian government in relation to the child migration program of the early to mid 1900s. 

Former residents of the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong in the central west of NSW are claiming that the school's operators and the state and federal governments allowed a system of institutional abuse that involved brutal physical and sexual attacks over many decades. 


The former Molong residents are claiming the Foundation and the two governments allowed a system of institutional abuse to develop and persist at the Molong Farm School over many decades.


It is alleged many children suffered terrible physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the staff at the residency and have suffered lifelong psychiatric and physical injuries as a result.


More than 65 former residents are already supporting the class action and seeking compensation as part of the claim.


Slater & Gordon lawyer, Ken Fowlie, said the class action was a last resort after the foundation and both governments refused to entertain any kind of redress scheme for victims.


“It is very disappointing former residents of the Molong Farm, who have already endured so much, now have to go through a long and difficult legal fight to win justice,” Fowlie said.


“Despite recent Senate inquiries recommending the creation of an out-of-court scheme to compensate victims, our clients have been left with no choice but to go to court to seek justice.


“The time has come for the Fairbridge Foundation and the state and federal governments, which all played critical roles in this misguided programme, to recognise the suffering these people went through and still endure, and to do the right thing. 


‘’We are calling on the Fairbridge Foundation, the State of NSW and the Commonwealth to engage with us, to resolve these tragic cases and to allow our clients to move on with their lives.”


For much of the 1900s the British-based Fairbridge Foundation sent children from the United Kingdom to Australia, Canada and Rhodesia for resettlement, mostly without their parents.


Between 1938 and 1974, hundreds of children, some as young as four, were sent from England to the Fairbridge Farm School in Molong.


Customarily, the children became guardians of the Commonwealth and then the State and often never saw their parents again.


The class action covers all residents at the Molong Fairbridge Farm School for any period between 1938 and 1974 who were physically or sexually assaulted and who have suffered a relevant injury including post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or some other form of psychiatric or physical injury.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Former child migrants launch class action against abuse
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Debate, same-sex marriage, Law Society
Sep 21 2017
Law Society acknowledges ‘diversity of opinion’ on same-sex marriage
The council of the Law Society of NSW has said it respects the diverse views of its members on same-...
Scales of Justice
Sep 21 2017
Victoria considers legalising euthanasia
A change in law to allow voluntary assisted dying in Victoria will be considered by the State Parlia...
Old woman
Sep 21 2017
Federal government ignoring elder abuse crisis, lawyer says
A Queensland lawyer has called on federal politicians to follow the lead of the Queensland governmen...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...