by Don Aziz (guest author) on 15 November, 2010
I’m Don Aziz and I was taken from Broken Hill and put into Mittagong Boys Home at the age of 12 and then I grew up there, and then I was returned back to my mother who was a Second World War widow. And then from there I was taken back down to the institutions again, and had to put up with what was dished out to us. And then virtually went from there to Mount Panang, which is another institution of the welfare system, and from there I went back to Broken Hill and I worked on the mines up there and got on with my life.
The apology today means a great thing to not only myself but thousands of Australians that had suffered all these years without no recognition of any apology. We were lost, confused and left out there. A lot of people didn’t believe what actually went on in these places.
Today is a great day for a better future for Australia. Life itself in those homes was a lot of physical, mental and sexual abuse and a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of alcoholism by the welfare people that were in care, and a lot of abuse by the boys to one another. But it gave a sort of direction where I came from because I was living in those times of the year – it was racism against the Indigenous.
I was copping both sides from the Indigenous side and also the welfare side of it. I still carry the demons. I have to live with that until the day I die. But I believe the church, the people that were responsible for all this abuse, are not here to answer for it. So the organisations they are with should be committed to this apologies. I thank the Australian government for what they have done to bring all this together, you know. I know I can die in peace now that this has all been over and done with after today. I will get on with it again.