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The New South Wales Government established reformatory schools and detention centres to provide institutional care and confinement for young people deemed to be in the need of ‘correction’. The Child Welfare Department were responsible for the management of these government-run institutions.
On 18 May 1960, the New South Wales Government established and opened Daruk Boys Home, situated on the corner of Blacktown Road and Kingswood Road, South Windsor NSW.
Daruk Boys Home (previously known as Daruk Training School, Dharruk Boys Training School, and Daruk Training Farm) operated as a home providing housing for young boys who were considered by the government as ‘in need of protection’. Dark Boys Home housed thousands of young boys who were considered vulnerable and ‘at risk’ as a result of being orphaned, abandoned, or removed from abusive households.
Daruk Boys Home was managed by a Superintendent who supervised and reported to the New South Wales government (through its agencies). Alasdair Webster was the Superintendent at Daruk Boys Home between 1973 and 1984/1985.
Daruk Boys Home closed in 1985.
Survivors have reported that Daruk Boys Home was run with ‘military-style’ discipline by “squads of enforcers” who punched and slapped the boys or squeezed their genitals to the point of horrific pain. Survivors have also reported that boys at Daruk Boys Home were stripped naked and forced into isolation for a number of days. It is reported that this isolation room, nicknamed “the boob”, was also where some of the “enforcers” sexually abused boys in the home. Survivors have further reported that genital mutilation was common at Daruk Boys Home, with medical officers performing illegal circumcisions because they didn’t like boys with foreskins.
In 1990 during The Wood Inquiry, reports emerged regarding the widespread misconduct (including sexual, physical and emotional abuse and assault) of the boys by staff (including medical personnel, carers) and also by older boys at the direction of staff. The Wood Inquiry found that the sexual abuse had been facilitated by a culture of violence and impunity within Dark Boys Home, and that the government failed to adequately monitor the welfare of the boys at Daruk Boys Home.
In 2016, the New South Wales government issued a commission of inquiry into historical institutional abuse (the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse), including the abuse that occurred at Daruk Boys Home in which is uncovered extensive evidence of abuse and neglect in a range of institutions across Australia, including Daruk Boys Home.
In 2018, survivors of abuse at Daruk Boys Home spoke to 60 minutes (‘Home of Horror’), detailing the abuse incidents that took place by staff members knows as “squad enforcers”, medical personnel and older boys.
Following the 2018 60 minutes interview, former Superintendent, Alasdair Webster, was found to be neglect of the boys at Daruk Boys Home and also found to be one of the alleged perpetrators. Alasdair Webster plead not guilty to a number of child sex offences in 2020. Webster was joined by staff member, Peter William Henry, who also denied the allegations.
We are specialist abuse lawyers and can help you receive acknowledgement, meaningful apology and financial resolution from those institutions and systems of power that failed to protect you from harm. If you would like advice in relation to a childhood or adult sexual, physical and/or psychological/emotional abuse claim in any jurisdiction in Australia, please reach out to the author, Emily Wright, at Littles Lawyers today.
Further Abuse Law information written by our Emily Wright can be found on our website.
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