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Campaigner welcomes apology -

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SHANE MCLEOD: One of the prominent campaigners for recognition of the so-called Forgotten
Australians is the former managing director of the ABC David Hill. He came to Australia as a child
migrant in 1959.

David Hill's on the line now from Parliament House and David Hill, what was the atmosphere like in
Canberra this morning?

DAVID HILL: Oh look it was terrific for a lot (inaudible) of the institutions and migrants. This
has been a long time...

SHANE MCLEOD: David Hill we're just having some trouble on the phone line there. David Hill has
been at Parliament House in Canberra this morning watching the apology. David Hill, the atmosphere,
it seemed quite emotional.

DAVID HILL: It was it's a terrific event and it means a great deal to a lot of the former child
migrants and the former kids in institutions and look, you can't undo the great harm that's been
done but this is a big step forward and a great comfort to a lot of people and it was good to be
here.

SHANE MCLEOD: The speeches from the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader, did they strike the
right note for the audience?

DAVID HILL: I think they did. It's a very hard one and of course everybody's experience is
different but I think the overwhelming majority of the people here were enormously appreciative,
you know, of the bipartisan nature of it and the strength of the conviction in both what came from
Rudd and from Malcolm Turnbull, yes.

SHANE MCLEOD: For people in this category, the Forgotten Australians, why is it important for them
to have an apology like this?

DAVID HILL: (inaudible) These people were harmed and damaged and disadvantaged (inaudible).

SHANE MCLEOD: David Hill we're just having some more problem on the line there. If I could just
quickly ask you, and we'll try to get through to you on this line, but what now for those who were
subject to abuse and neglect? Should there be compensation for them?

DAVID HILL: Oh most definitely and a large number of these kids are currently engaged in litigation
to try and get compensation. You can't undo the damage. In many respects the apology on its own is
too little too late but it's better than nothing.

Incidentally, the ABC is showing a terrific documentary tomorrow night which explains what happened
in one of these institutions and it can explain far better than I can.

SHANE MCLEOD: The Prime Minister says he wants the apology to begin the healing process, to heal
the pain for these people. Can an apology itself do that?

DAVID HILL: Not on its own no and I don't think even the Prime Minister thinks it can. But I don't
want to be negative about it. It is a step forward and it does bring a lot of comfort to a lot of
people who have never been believed and nobody appeared to care. And for the Prime Minister, on
behalf of the nation, to say sorry, is a big step forward. And I suppose it's certainly the
beginning of a process that's appreciated by a lot of those poor bloody kids that suffered so much.

SHANE MCLEOD: David Hill, thank you. Former child migrant David Hill on the line there from
Canberra.