Today the Liberals and Nationals supported the apology given by the Premier to Victorians, past and present, who experienced historical abuse and neglect as children in institutional and out of home care.
It is often said that our future is our children and that there is no greater duty in life than to love, care for, nurture and protect our children. To guard them against harm and evil.
However, entire generations of children in Victoria and across Australia grew up in state institutionalised or other forms of out of home care, without the care and love of their parents and often cut-off forever, never to be reunited, from their siblings and their families.
Those in positions of power and authority bare the heaviest of responsibility for what took place. Our most vulnerable deserved protection and didn’t get it.
We failed, and this apology is well deserved. It is deserved by so many thousands of Victorians. Those who experienced child exploitation, physical or sexual abuse, and those impacted indirectly.
While our words cannot remedy that, this historic statement coming together as one can offer some healing.
As Leader of the Opposition, on behalf of all my Liberals and Nationals colleagues, we humbly and unreservedly apologise to you for all that you have endured during your time in state care and since.