Dark chapters of child abuse and cover-up in WA will be exposed or revisited as part of the planned royal commission announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
As recently as August, _The West Australian _revealed WA Police had formed a task force to investigate 184 cases of abuse against children in State care.
But the tentacles of institutionalised sexual offending in WA can be traced back more than 60 years to the orphanages, hostels and school farms run by governments and church orders such as the Catholic-based Christian Brothers.
"There are going to be a lot of people ducking and weaving and trying put up road blocks where they can," sexual abuse victim Todd Jefferis said. "But a royal commission will have the power to break through."
Mr Jefferis, 39, brought Dennis John McKenna's 15 years of systemic abuse at St Andrew's Hostel to an end in 1990 and recently gave powerful evidence to an inquiry into how McKenna got away with molesting at least 16 children boarding at the State-run facility in Katanning.
"This is massive and will cost a lot of money but every victim of abuse deserves their day," Mr Jefferis said. "It's a big part of the healing process. It's about having your abuse recognised and knowing someone has listened."
Premier Colin Barnett recently ruled out a royal commission in WA after more than 20 institutions were implicated in cases of child abuse and neglect, prompting Labor leader Mark McGowan to promise a commission of inquiry, if elected.
The hundreds of examples of abuse arose during the Redress WA program, which enabled people to claim compensation for what happened to them.
Back in 1993, former Perth Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey rejected calls for a judicial inquiry into abuse at various Christian Brothers institutions.
"There is no doubt, in my mind, that the victims of physical and sexual abuse will continue to feel aggrieved if the truth does not come out," he said in 1993. "Nevertheless, I do not think a judicial inquiry will necessarily achieve the desired result."
Eight years later, then WA senator Andrew Murray made an impassioned speech as part of a report released by a committee of the Federal Parliament.
He focused on one of the leading lights of the Christian Brothers in WA - Francis Paul Keaney - and the treatment dished out to child migrants, calling Keaney "a despicable and heartless monster".
Submissions to the committee said Keaney, who has since died, turned the Christian Brothers farm at Bindoon into a place of misery where "slavery, beatings and sexual assaults became rampant".
"His actions would have warranted criminal charges had he not operated and exerted influence over the law in Western Australia," Senator Murray said.
"Bindoon was nothing more than a paedophile ring."
There are examples of how the Catholic Church has managed priests suspected or accused of sexual abuse. In 1966, Sydney priest Father Denis Daly was moved to WA after a NSW police investigation.
Fr Daly, who died in 1987, was later linked to the repeated abuse of 11-year-old boy Peter McCloskey in Limerick, Ireland. More than 20 years after the alleged abuse, Mr McCloskey took his own life.
Another Sydney priest, Fr Denis McAlinden, moved to WA under a cloud in 1982. In 2007, the Church reportedly confirmed McAlinden, now dead, was a serial offender.In May, _The West Australian _ revealed that 205 abuse victims from Pinjarra's Fairbridge farm school for child migrants received more than $1 million compensation.
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