The West

The Christian Brothers Bindoon Farm School.
The Christian Brothers' Bindoon Farm School.

Several dozen men who were abused as boys at four Christian Brothers' homes in WA are having their compensation reviewed after the order opened the door to increasing payouts at a public hearing of a royal commission nearly four months ago.

The commitment by the Christian Brothers to revisit any settlements which were regarded as unjust has been highlighted in closing submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which were published last week.

In a separate statement released this afternoon, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers said the order had responded to several dozen individuals who had asked for their payouts to be re-examined and expected to address matters over the next two to three months.

Some individuals had also taken up an offer of ongoing psychological counselling in the wake of the public hearing.

The submissions by senior counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness, and the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, on behalf of the Christian Brothers, follow an eight-day public hearing in Perth in late April and early May.

The public hearing examined a case study involving four Christian Brothers' homes - Bindoon, Clontarf, Castledare and Tardun - and took evidence from 11 former residents who gave accounts of being raped, forced into child labour, beaten and neglected between 1947 and 1968.

The submission by Ms Furness said it would be open for the commission to find that the Christian Brothers leadership failed to prevent the sexual abuse of boys in its management of the four WA homes and the order's Provincial Council had been aware of allegations of sexual abuse by some brothers in each of the decades from 1919 to the 1960s.

It was also submitted that State authorities contributed to the boys having limited access to adults outside the homes and the opportunity to disclose the abuse and their conditions.

The submission proposes that the commission find the physical conditions at the orphanages created an environment where there was no privacy and the order failed to provide all boys with an opportunity to obtain an education.

Most of the "available findings" have been accepted in a submission in response by the Truth Justice and Healing Council on behalf of the Christian Brothers.

The council submission accepts the evidence given by the 11 men revealed that sexual abuse of a "horrific and unacceptable" level occurred at the four institutions.

But the submission says at the time, the order knew of only nine allegations of abuse by brothers at the four homes over a 40-year period.

The West Australian

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