Wider blame

There is here a whole hidden or neglected undertone ” the commissions and omissions of parliaments, governments, individual politicians and community leaders.

Children in orphanages, reformatories, boarding schools and the like were not only consigned to the care of those particular instrumentalities, they also came under the supervising authority of a relevant government department such as child welfare or education.

It’s just so easy to uncover the misdeeds of some individuals and the slackness of some organisations such as the church, the Salvation Army and so on.

However, each of these operated under a law and a charter whose implementation ultimately was the responsibility of the parliaments of the day.

What were the Charles Courts, David Brands, John Tonkins and so on and the whole plethora of ministries and ministers and heads of department doing ” or, more to the point, not doing ” that enabled abuses to occur?

I would say that our politicians and parliaments failed both the abused and the abusers by allowing unsatisfactory or unsupervised situations to develop.