The Royal Commission has heard shocking allegations about the involvement of Salvation Army officers in trafficking boys and organising child prostitution from children’s homes in NSW and Queensland. Whistle blower Major Cliff Randall has testified to the Royal Commission that the Salvation Army covered-up and protected offenders. He said that one Queensland officer was suddenly moved to NSW to avoid gaol. Boys were apparently sent to Sydney to be sexually abused. One boy in particular never returned. It was rumoured he was at the bottom of Sydney Harbour.
The Salvation Army has now taken a more conciliatory stance with Commissioner James Condon saying that the Salvation Army no longer considers its reputation a priority when dealing with victims of child sexual abuse. “The priority is the survivor, not protection of the Salvation Army,” he told the Commission. The Salvos will give an unreserved apology and a lump sum payment to victims through a new process they are trialling called ‘People First’. There is another hearing in March into the Salvation Army.
All survivors of child abuse at Salvation Army operated homes should contact Peter Kelso on 02 4907 4200 to find out more. It is a good time to come forward now whilst there is a lot of public attention on the matter.