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  • Published: 16 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045523
  • Imprint: William Heinemann Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00

Reckoning

The forgotten children and their quest for justice




The story of how David Hill and the other Forgotten Children took on the the institutions that tried to break them - and won.

The Forgotten Children was David Hill’s heartbreaking account of the abuse that he and other ‘orphans of empire’ survived at the Fairbridge Farm School in New South Wales. Part memoir, part oral history, the book became a bestseller. It was also the catalyst in a subsequent battle for justice, which resulted in the Fairbridge kids being awarded a record $24 million in compensation by the NSW Supreme Court. And that was just the start of a reckoning with institutional abuse of power that reverberates to this day.

In Reckoning David recounts stories of the shocking systemic abuse at Fairbridge, and how he led the fight against the powerful people and organisations – including the Australian and British governments and the Royal Family ­– who denied and covered up terrible crimes perpetrated on innocent children, some as young as five years old. David’s fight for acknowledgement and restitution was for himself but especially for those kids, who as adults showed remarkable, enduring resilience and determination in holding to account the establishments responsible for their suffering.

Reckoning is both a tribute to the children who were betrayed by broken system and a compelling account of an extraordinary quest for justice. It is the story of how David Hill and the other Forgotten Children took on the institutions that tried to break them – and won.

  • Published: 16 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761045523
  • Imprint: William Heinemann Australia
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00

About the author

David Hill

During his remarkable career, David Hill has been chairman then managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; chairman of the Australian Football Association; chief executive of the State Rail Authority; chairman of Sydney Water Corporation; and chairman of CREATE (an organisation representing Australian children in institutional care).

He has also held a number of other executive appointments in the areas of sport, transport, broadcasting, fiscal management and city parks.

In 2006 he was awarded a Diploma of Arts with merit in classical archaeology from Sydney University. He is an honorary associate at the Sydney University departments of archaeology, classics and ancient history, and a visiting fellow at the University of New South Wales.

Since 2011 he has been the manager of an archaeological study of the ancient Greek city of Troizen. He has for many years been a leading figure in the international campaign to have the Parthenon sculptures returned from the British Museum to Greece.

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Praise for Reckoning

David Hill tells the important story of an ultimately successful quest for justice, on behalf of children who suffered institutionalised cruelty under the guise of imperial benevolence. He has been determined to expose and then call to account the British and Australian governments and the institutions themselves for turning a blind eye to the ways in which children in their care were brutalised, buggered and bewildered, in homes that were little better than slave labour camps. This powerful book should serve as a warning to all persons responsible for the care of vulnerable people: your failures of oversight and safeguarding will one day return to haunt you.

Geoffrey Robertson

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