Child migrant Honoria Goldberg, one of the “forgotten Australians”.
Child migrant Honoria Goldberg, one of the “forgotten Australians”. Geoff Potternc

Sent to Australia 50 yrs ago: sorry

HONORIA Goldberg will travel to London later this month to get an apology from the British government that has been more than five decades coming.

Ms Goldberg, of Cooroy, and her twin brother George were among the thousands of British children sent to Australia following World War II.

The British child migrants, who are also known as the “forgotten Australians”, are no longer forgotten.

The Australian government delivered a national apology last year – and now it is the British government’s turn.

Scottish-born Ms Goldberg, who along with her brother was placed in an Aberdeen orphanage as a four-year-old, will join other British migrants to hear the apology in person.

“The apology will be recognition that they realise things didn’t turn out the way they expected,” she said yesterday.

“They just wanted to send these children out here – good British stock to populate Australia – and children in orphanages were sent out.”

Many of the children endured physical, psychological or sexual abuse in accommodation likened to labour camps.

A lot were told their parents were dead, while most were deported without parental consent.

It was common for mothers and fathers to believe their children had been adopted somewhere in Britain.

Ms Goldberg, who is in a relationship but has never married and has no children, was eight when she arrived in Australia in 1955.

She and her brother, who never got to meet their parents before they died, were sent to the Neerkoll orphanage near Rockhampton.

They had little contact there, as the boys and girls were segregated, and Ms Goldberg remained there until the age of 18.

During that time she suffered regular physical abuse, including being whipped with bamboo.

“It was pretty awful,” she said. “A lot of abuse went on there.”

Ms Goldberg, an endorsed-enrolled nurse at Noosa Hospital and the owner of Pets Furever at Yandina, has met and formed relationships with two half-brothers after they were tracked down by the Child Migrants Trust.

Despite her ordeal, she said her life had turned out well.

“I’m glad I came here. Glasgow is grey and dismal,” she said.

“I’m sure I’ve had a much better life than what I would have had over there.”

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