DARK DAYS: The North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore in about 1970.
DARK DAYS: The North Coast Children’s Home at Lismore in about 1970. The Northern Star Archives

Report a victory, says abuse victim

VINDICATION comes in many forms and does not always wipe the slate clean.

For a victim who led the campaign to expose sexual abuse forced upon kids at North Coast Children's Home, it came in the shape of a damning 92-page report.

Richard "Tommy" Campion says he will never recover from the years of cruelty he endured as a child.

But the Royal Commission's condemnation of the Anglican Church's response to the depravity he suffered has justified his eight-year fight to unveil the truth.

"They lied and they knew they lied. They were just avoiding the situation to not pay compensation," he said.

"They denied people their complete rights and disturbed a lot of people's lives.

"The Church, in all their glory, decided to make it worse for them, not knowing that it was going to a Royal Commission."

Mr Campion, now a successful photographer living on the Gold Coast, gave evidence at the inquiry about the beatings, the forced starvation and the rapes he said he suffered at the hands of clergymen and staff.

Taking the stand was one of his most harrowing moments, but also his proudest. "It is a huge victory for me and every other person who was ever in a home," he said.

Comment was sought from Bishop of Grafton Dr Sarah Macneil.


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