Calling for justice

NOT FORGOTTEN: Rhonda Trivett holding letters from the Government which never heal the scars she carries from being a minor in Wolston Park Hospital. Photo: Rose Hamilton-Barr
NOT FORGOTTEN: Rhonda Trivett holding letters from the Government which never heal the scars she carries from being a minor in Wolston Park Hospital. Photo: Rose Hamilton-Barr Rose Hamilton-Barr

IF RHONDA Trivett had a dollar for every time she was told to "get on with her life", she would be rich.

But her true wealth comes from being a survivor.

Born in the 1960s, Ms Trivett was dyslexic - undiagnosed at the time, and was removed from her mother as punishment for running away from school.

In 1974, as a young teenager, the South Burnett woman was placed in Wolston Park Hospital.

Ms Trivett said she suffered rape, torture and bashings for eight years.

And she is not alone.

Between the 1950s and 1960s, children as young as 11, but mostly aged from 13, were mixed in with adults at Osler House at Wolston Park.

Osler House was a ward for people the courts judged as criminally insane.

Now, as adults, a small group who were admitted into Queensland adult psychiatric asylums while they were children have called for a separate inquiry into the abuse, torture and neglect they suffered inside the institutional walls.

Australian National University visiting academic Dr Adele Chynoweth confirmed the teenage residents at Wolston Park were denied an education and were drugged, subjected to shock treatment and sexually abused.

"The whole truth about 20th century child welfare policy has been swept under the carpet," she said. Dr Chynoweth said she became interested in the victims because they had been excluded from testifying at the Ford Inquiry in 1999.

They were rejected as the inquiry related only to children kept in church and state children's homes.

"The government hasn't been held accountable," Dr Chynoweth said.

"So far there has been no compensation for the victims of Wolston Park."

Ms Trivett's body still bears the scars and her mind is traumatised.

The 52-year-old said she was tired of being labelled.

"The problem now is society doesn't know how to help us," she said.

"The system has failed in the past."

Ms Trivett said people should be aware of what happened then.

Dr Chynoweth agreed and said victims were prevented from mounting their own legal case because time creates a barrier to litigation.

Dr Chynoweth urged Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to revisit and address past abuse as well as present-day problems.

In June, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg and Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie announced a Commission of Inquiry into child protection in Queensland.

But a spokesman from the office of the Health Minister said children who may have formally been placed in adult mental health facilities would be "outside the scope of the new inquiry".

"At this stage the Queensland Government is unable to pay compensation to alleged former victims of institutional abuse without a court order," he said.

The spokesman said independent legal advice should be sought before deciding to proceed through conventional legal processes.

TELL us what you think!

South Burnett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Police charge woman with unlicensed driving

Police car. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The incident occurred on Wednesday.

Council to start Nanango roadworks

South Burnett Regional Council Generic

Access to some properties might be restricted.

Man charged with drug driving

The incident occurred on Tuesday.

Local Partners

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

JUST WHEN you thought you’d all of Bella Hadid’s supermodel figure — she gets her Cannes out on the red carpet of an AIDS gala dinner in France.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!