find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Slaters launches child migrant action

Slaters launches child migrant action

Slater & Gordon is acting for a group of former child migrants in a class action seeking compensation for years of sexual, physical and psychological abuse while at the Fairbridge Farm…

Slater & Gordon is acting for a group of former child migrants in a class action seeking compensation for years of sexual, physical and psychological abuse while at the Fairbridge Farm School in Molong.

The action is being brought against the Fairbridge Foundation, the State of NSW and the Commonwealth of Australia, with the complainants alleging sexual assaults by members of staff and persons to whose care they were entrusted; a poor-quality education which left many illiterate; and general humiliation and a lack of care.

Central to the class action is the allegation that the foundation and both the state and federal governments allowed a system of institutional abuse to develop at the Molong Farm School over several decades, which has resulted in lifelong psychiatric and physical injuries to former residents. More than 65 former residents are already supporting the class action.

Slater & Gordon lawyer Ken Fowlie said the class action was a "last resort" after years trying to reach an out-of-court settlement.

"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 program, to recognise the suffering these people went through and still endure, and to do the right thing."

Fowlie said he is calling on the foundation and governments to engage with them to resolve the cases and to allow his clients to get 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. The Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act placed legal guardianship for the children with the Federal Minister for Immigration, who in turn transferred custodial responsibility to the State of NSW Child Welfare Department.

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

Slaters launches child migrant action
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...