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Westbrook Training Centre: A Chronicle of Abuse

The Westbrook Training Centre, a name that evokes a harrowing past for many of its former residents, stands as a stark reminder of the systemic abuse that occurred within its walls. Established in 1919 as the Farm Home for Boys, it was intended to be a place of reform and rehabilitation for young boys in Queensland. However, the reality was far from its purpose.

A History of Harsh Conditions and Allegations

Westbrook was characterized by overcrowding, harsh physical discipline, and severe punishments throughout its operation. Reports from the 1971 Peel Inquiry, initiated in response to media allegations, confirmed that practices such as slapping inmates for misbehaviour were commonplace. While dismissing some public allegations as exaggerated, the inquiry could not ignore the evidence of mistreatment that had been part of the institution’s culture.

The Reign of Superintendent Roy Golledge

The tenure of Superintendent Roy Golledge, from 1952 to 1961, was particularly notorious. Under his administration, the centre became infamous for beatings, neglect, and sexual abuse. These abuses were not isolated incidents but indicative of a systemic problem plaguing Westbrook for decades.

Legal Proceedings and Charges

In the wake of these allegations, the Queensland government took action. The 1971 Commission of Inquiry, led by Mr. P. D. Peel, SM, was a significant step towards uncovering the truth. Investigation files created by the Children’s Services Department documented incidents at Westbrook from 1971 to 1994, involving collaborative efforts with the Queensland Police and other child welfare agencies.

While the records do not explicitly mention specific charges against individuals, they highlight the systemic issues and mistreatment at the centre. The investigations contributed to the eventual closure of the Westbrook Youth Detention Centre in 1994.

The Aftermath and Ongoing Quest for Justice

Westbrook’s legacy continues to affect its survivors, many of whom seek recognition and compensation for their experiences. The fight for justice is not just about legal retribution but also about acknowledgement and support for those who endured the unthinkable within the institution’s confines.

The Westbrook Training Centre’s story is a cautionary tale of what can happen when systems fail to protect the vulnerable. It is a call to action to ensure that history does not repeat itself and that the voices of survivors are heard and honoured.

Steps to Take if You Are a Survivor

If you, or anyone you know, survived abuse at Westbrook Training Centre, it’s crucial to know that you are not alone. Here are the steps you can take to begin your journey toward justice and compensation:

  1. Reach Out for Support: Contact Koffels Solicitors and Barristers for a free & confidential consultation. Our team will listen to your story, provide legal advice, and discuss your options for pursuing a claim.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect any relevant evidence, such as documents, photographs, or witness statements, that can support your case. Our team will guide you through this process to ensure that all necessary information is obtained.
  3. File a Claim: With the assistance of our experienced solicitors, file a compensation claim against The Westbrook Training Centre. We will advocate to hold the responsible parties accountable and secure the compensation you deserve.

Contact Koffels Solicitors and Barristers Today

At Koffels Solicitors and Barristers, we are committed to standing by survivors of The Westbrook Training Centre and other institutions where abuse has occurred. Our dedicated team is here to help you navigate the legal process and achieve the justice and compensation you deserve.


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