Recommendation 1: That the
Commonwealth Government urge the State and Territory Governments to undertake
inquiries similar to the Queensland Forde inquiry into the treatment of all
children in institutional care in their respective States and Territories; and
that the Senate Social Welfare Committee’s 1985 inquiry be revisited so that a
national perspective may be given to the issue of children in institutional
Recommendation 2: That British and
Maltese former child migrants be treated equally in accessing any of the
services currently provided or as recommended in this report, including access
to travel funding.
Recommendation 3: That the
Commonwealth Government establish the means to accurately determine the numbers
of child migrants sent to Australia during the
20th century to assist in determining the level of support services
and other assistance needed for former child migrants.
Recommendation 4: That in
accordance with the Statutes of the Most
Excellent Order of the British Empire, the Commonwealth Government initiate
the process for Francis Paul Keaney’s
membership of the Most Excellent Order of the British
Empire to be cancelled and annulled.
Recommendation 5: That the
Commonwealth Government continue to provide funding for at least three years
directly to the Child Migrants Trust to ensure that the specialised services of
tracing and counselling are provided or accessible to former child migrants
living throughout Australia.
Recommendation 6: That the
Commonwealth Government urge the British Government to continue financial
resources for the National Council of Voluntary Child Care Organisations
(NCVCCO) for the retention and expansion of the Child Migrant Central
Recommendation 7: That the
Commonwealth Government urge all State Governments to establish a comprehensive
signposting index similar to that established by the Western Australian
Recommendation 8: That the
Commonwealth Government urge all State Governments to co-operate to establish a
national index of child migrants.
Recommendation 9: That the
Commonwealth Government urge State and Territory Governments to publish
directories of information to assist all former residents of children’s institutions
to access records similar to the directories published by the New South Wales
and Queensland Governments.
Recommendation 10: The Committee
recommends that a national group of all receiving agencies, other relevant
bodies and Commonwealth and State Governments be established to develop uniform
protocols for accessing records and sharing information relevant to former
child migrants, their families and descendants and to coordinate services for
former child migrants.
Recommendation 11: That the
National Archives of Australia be provided with sufficient funding to ensure
continuation of the program of digitising its records relating to child
Recommendation 12: That the
National Archives of Australia liaise with the Genealogy and Personnel Records
Section of the National Archives of Canada in relation to the technology,
protocols, processes and procedures the Canadians have implemented to
facilitate access to their records for former child migrants and their
Recommendation 13: That the
Commonwealth Government provide at least three year funding to those agencies
engaged in dedicated tracing in the United
Kingdom to assist former child migrants to
locate their families, based on applications by agencies undertaking that work.
Recommendation 14: That all
organisations holding records pertaining to former child migrants make these
records available to former child migrants or their authorised representative
immediately and unconditionally.
Recommendation 15: That where any
organisation holds primary documents, including birth certificates, relating to
any living former child migrant without their express permission, former child
migrants be entitled to recover that document from the holding organisation.
Recommendation 16: That all sending
and receiving agencies be required to extend access to their records to
descendants of former child migrants.
Recommendation 17: The Committee
recommends that the Commonwealth Government:
citizenship on all former child migrants, with provision for those who do not
wish to become Australian citizens to decline automatic citizenship; and
that a special
ceremony conferring citizenship be conducted for former child migrants.
Recommendation 18: That the
Commonwealth Government urge the United Kingdom Government to extend its
contribution to the Child Migrant Support Fund for at least a further three
years beyond its anticipated end in 2002.
Recommendation 19: That the Child
Migrant Support Fund be supplemented by funding from the Australian Government,
State Governments and receiving agencies; and that this funding comprise:
(a) a Commonwealth Government contribution of
$1 million per year for three years initially;
(b) a combined contribution from State
Governments of $1 million per year for three years initially; and
(c) a contribution from receiving agencies,
and that this be funded by a levy or other means on receiving agencies not
currently providing travel assistance, in proportion to the number of children
placed under their care as a result of the child migration schemes during the
Recommendation 20: That the
eligibility criteria for access to the Child Migrant Support Fund be broadened
(a) permit visits to family members and other
relatives, including aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces; and for
other related purposes, such as visits to family graves;
(b) be available for all former child
migrants, including the Maltese and those who may have undertaken previous
visits at their own expense;
(c) provide for two further visits but with a
reduced level of assistance, limited to the payment of airfares and associated
(d) provide, in exceptional circumstances,
travel funding for a spouse, child or other person as an accompanying carer;
(e) be subject to no means-testing
Recommendation 21: That the
Commonwealth Government, together with other stakeholders, undertake a review
of its participation in the Child Migrant Support Fund after three years to
determine the adequacy of funding from Australian sources for the fund and the
extent of continuing demand for travel from former child migrants.
Recommendation 22: That, should the
Child Migrant Support Fund not be extended by the United Kingdom Government,
the Commonwealth Government establish a separate Australian travel scheme to
assist former child migrants to visit their country of origin, and that this
scheme be funded by contributions from the Commonwealth, State Governments and
receiving agencies as detailed in Recommendation 19; and that the scheme have a
broad set of eligibility criteria as detailed in Recommendation 20.
Recommendation 23: That, to ensure
that choice in counselling services remains available to former child migrants,
the Commonwealth Government urge agencies and other State Welfare Departments
providing counselling services to maintain those services and expand them where necessary.
Recommendation 24: That the
Commonwealth and State Governments in providing funding for boarding house and
supported accommodation programs recognise the housing needs and requirements
of former child migrants.
Recommendation 25: That the
Department of Health and Aged Care commission a study into the aged care needs
of former child migrants; and that Commonwealth funding be directed into areas
of need identified in that study.
Recommendation 26: That the
Commonwealth Government urge the British Government to ensure that former child
migrants living permanently in the United Kingdom are not disadvantaged in
gaining access to income support payments following termination of the Social
Security Agreement with the United Kingdom.
Recommendation 27: That the
Commonwealth Government provide a prospective one-off grant of $10,000 to
former child migrants wishing to return permanently to the United
Kingdom or Malta who can
prove that they will permanently relocate in those countries.
Recommendation 28: That the
Commonwealth and State Governments widely publicise the availability of
remedial education services and associated adult education courses to child
migrants and child migrant organisations.
Recommendation 29: That the
Commonwealth Government urge the Attorney-General of Western Australia to
urgently review the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission of Western
Australia Report on Limitation and Notice of Actions with a view to bringing
the Western Australian law into line with other Australian jurisdictions.
Recommendation 30: That the
Commonwealth Government issue a formal statement acknowledging that its
predecessors’ promotion of the Child Migration schemes, that resulted in the
removal of so many British and Maltese children to Australia, was wrong; and
that the statement express deep sorrow and regret for the psychological, social
and economic harm caused to the children, and the hurt and distress suffered by
the children, at the hands of those who were in charge of them, particularly
the children who were victims of abuse and assault.
Recommendation 31: That all State
Governments and receiving agencies, that have not already done so, issue formal
statements similar to those issued by the Western Australian and Queensland
Governments and the Catholic Church and associated religious orders to former
child migrants and their families for their respective roles in the child
Recommendation 32: That the
Commonwealth and State Governments, in conjunction with the receiving agencies,
provide funding for the erection of a suitable memorial or memorials
commemorating former child migrants, and that the appropriate form and
location(s) of such a memorial or memorials be determined by consulting widely
with former child migrants and their representative organisations.
33: That the Commonwealth Government support and promote international
initiatives that facilitate the sharing of professional best practice, and that
ensure uniformity of protocols relating to work with former child migrants and