WA child migrants tell of lost innocence at royal commission into child sex abuse

WA Today

April 29, 2014

Aleisha Orr
Reporter, WA Today

An overwhelming sense of loss has come through in the evidence given by witnesses at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Nine of 11 men who were sexually abused as children while in the care of Christian Brothers in Western Australian institutions, who are set to speak as part of public hearings in Perth, have talked about their experiences.

“I lost my country, I lost my language, I lost my culture, I lost my family and I lost any chance of a decent career,” Raphael Ellul told the commission at the second day of hearings.

Mr Ellul was a child migrant from Malta who was sent to Australia to “obtain a better future”, which he described as “rubbish”.

He arrived in Australia in 1960 at age 10 and was sent to St Mary’s Agricultural School in Tardun.

Mr Elull was not allowed to speak Maltese even though he knew no English and took three years to pick up enough Pidgin English “to get by”.

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