The Parramatta Girls Training School
In 1946, the former the Parramatta Girls Training Home was given the new name of Parramatta Girls Training School in an attempt to rejuvenate the old institution. It was a large enough institution which accommodated around 160 to 200 older girls at a time who had been charged with crimes or committed by welfare organisations. The old Annual Reports published by the Child Welfare Department for the School claimed it had made positive changes in the institution, but the reality was that very little had changed in terms of its outcomes and operation. Some children were transferred from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and placed in this Home. In 1974 the Parramatta Girls Training School closed and was replaced with Kamballa.
The School had been notorious for the physical and sexual abuse of many of its former inmates. It was in fact heavily scrutinised by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Case Study No. 7 (October 2014) which found that numerous male staff, and occasionally other girls, were said to have physically and sexually abused the inmates at both institutions. The Royal Commission looked at 11 former employees - most of whom were superintendents or deputies at the institution - who were entrusted with the girls’ care but who responsible for regular bashings, rapes and assaults. Sometimes, a pair of men would reportedly beat or rape a girl together. Witnesses recalled that Superintendent Percival Mayhew and Deputy Superintendent Gordon Gilford were the scariest and cruellest officers. Most of the alleged perpetrators were never reported or investigated. Others resigned or were dismissed after inquiries into their conduct. The Royal Commission also found that none of perpetrators who had committed physical and sexual abuse at the School were ever charged with an offence. All but three have now died.
Artemis Legal has represented clients who were victims of child sexual abuse at Parramatta Girls Training School.
We invite former victims, employees and parents to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.
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