Thousands of people who were transported to Australia from Britain as children have received an apology from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
There were tearful scenes in Canberra as some 900 former orphans heard the premier express his deep regret about the long-abandoned Child Migrants Programme. He said: “We come together today to deal with an ugly chapter in our nation’s history. And we come together today to offer our nation’s apology. To say to you, the forgotten Australians, and those who were sent to our shores as children without their consent, that we are sorry. Sorry that as children you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where so often you were abused.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is also set to apologise to the 7,000 or so children from state institutions who were shipped abroad between 1930 and 1970. They were sent to Commonwealth countries, mainly Australia and Canada, with promises of a better life but often without the knowledge of their parents.