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Keelong Remand Centre and Mt Penang Child Abuse

The Keelong Remand Centre, situated in Unanderra, New South Wales, was opened in 1978 by the Department of Youth and Community Services as a remand home for boys labelled as delinquent, often housing first-time offenders. Despite its foundational intent, the facility became infamous for its severe conditions and the abuse perpetrated by staff members. This article looks at the history of Keelong Remand Centre and Mt Penang, shedding light on the systemic failures of the NSW juvenile justice system and the enduring struggle of survivors seeking justice.

The Harsh Reality Behind Bars

Juvenile detainees at Keelong were held while awaiting trial or sentencing, subjected to harsh treatment and provocation by staff. This environment, far from rehabilitative, fostered further trauma rather than offering the support needed to address underlying issues. Accounts from the era highlight a system deeply flawed, prioritizing punishment over healing and failing to provide the necessary care to those it deemed delinquent.

From Keelong to Mt Penang: A Pipeline of Punishment

For those convicted or found unmanageable in other settings, Mt Penang (later known as “Frank Baxter“) was the next destination. Here, boys aged 14 to 16 faced strict discipline, often for infractions as minor as truancy or having guardians deemed unfit. Dubbed “the Pound” by its inmates, Mt Penang’s reputation for being more prison-like than a place of refuge was well-known. Survivors’ accounts paint a grim picture of daily physical and sexual abuse, revealing the institution’s failure to protect its charges.

The Royal Commission’s Revelations

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has brought to light the experiences of numerous survivors, including an individual referred to as “FE”. His impact statement in 2014 detailed the abuse suffered in state care, including his time at Mt Penang. Such testimonials have been crucial in acknowledging the depth of suffering experienced by those within the NSW juvenile justice system, prompting calls for accountability, redress, and reform.

Koffels Solicitors & Barristers: Advocates for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

At Koffels Solicitors & Barristers, we stand with the survivors of the Keelong Remand Centre and Mt Penang, committed to ensuring their stories are heard and justice is served. Our expertise in historical institutional child sexual abuse claims equips us to navigate the complexities of these cases with compassion and diligence.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the events at these institutions, we urge you to reach out. Our team is here to offer legal support and guidance, working tirelessly to secure the compensation and recognition survivors deserve.

Please contact us for confidential advice and to explore your legal options. Together, we can take the first step towards healing and justice.

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