CREATE Patron, David Hill is currently in the United Kingdom appearing as a key witness for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (The Inquiry).
The Inquiry held its first public hearing on Monday 27th of February 2017 and numerous hearings are to follow. The hearings provide an opportunity for victims and survivors of sexual abuse from Fairbridge and other institutions, to have their voices heard. David hopes the inquiry will hold to account the institutions and the individuals responsible for the abuse.
David’s strong interest in the rights and welfare of children and young people in care stems from his experience as a child. When he was 13 he and his two brothers were sent from Britain to Fairbridge Farm School through the Child Migrant Scheme. These young children were subjected to appalling conditions, exploited for their labour and sexually abused by members of the church and charity organisations charged with their care.
David has written a book about the brutal experiences of the pupils there, The Forgotten Children and was heavily involved in the production of a TV documentary The Long Journey Home. On the basis of his research, he believed around 60 per cent of children sent to Fairbridge farms were sexually abused.
CREATE welcomes the Inquiry and awaits the outcomes on the failings within these institutions, and how such failings lead to the abuse of children. No doubt, the Inquiry will highlight key policy and service systems recommendations and changes for the future. We commend David on his unwavering commitment and support of child abuse survivors.
David Hill has been Patron of CREATE Foundation since 1999, before which he served as Patron for the AAYPIC. He has also served as Chairman of the Board and throughout has been active in his support of CREATE and its work.