Five Fairbridge farm schools to join National Redress Scheme

Five former Fairbridge farm schools will now be covered by the National Redress Scheme allowing survivors of these institutions to have their applications progressed.

The Commonwealth, New South Wales, South Australian, Tasmanian, Victorian and Western Australian governments have agreed to be a funder of last resort for the Molong, Drapers’ Hall, Tresca, Northcote and Pinjarra Fairbridge farm schools.

“We all have a part to play to help survivors access redress. Survivors of Fairbridge have to wait too long for the recognition they absolutely deserve. Their wait ends today,” Minister Ruston said.

“I would like to thank the state Ministers for agreeing to step up and take responsibility for the Fairbridge institution that operated in their jurisdiction as the Commonwealth has recognised its responsibility for child migrants.

“This announcement means that applications can now be progressed which name these institutions and where a government played a role in placing the child.

“I would encourage all survivors of these intuitions who may have been holding off putting forward an application to do so to and be considered for redress.”

Current funder of last resort provisions only apply where a government was also liable for the abuse. As part of the second year review, the Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board will consider these provisions and whether they need to be amended.

To date, the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and more than 450 non-government institutions covering more than 63,000 sites including churches, children’s homes, schools, swimming centres and sports clubs, across Australia are participating.

A further 23 defunct institutions are currently being considered under funder of last resort provisions.

As at 19 March 2021, the Scheme has received a total of 9,908 applications, 5,139 payments have been made totalling around $432 million and a further 700 offers are awaiting an applicant’s decision.

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