Kids too frightened to report abuse at state-run youth centre, inquiry hears

ALEX HEINKE reports.

An Australian youth detention centre is being reported as a nightmare for children who were to frightened by staff to report sexual abuse.

This is the information a former worker at Melbourne’s Turana youth detention centre told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Wednesday.


Ashley Cadd worked as a youth worker at Turana and said there were no specific policies on dealing with sexual abuse and reports were rarely passed up to superiors.

The inquiry also heard the children did not relate to the social workers, who would rarely visit, and the superintendent was a myth used to threaten the boys.

Mr Cadd said superintendent David Green had “virtually nothing” to do with those on the coal face.

Mr Cadd told the inquiry the supervision of boys at night was “horrifically” inadequate, with one officer trying to watch rooms through a slot in the door, and unable to turn the light on.

“You might have four or five children in a room, but you couldn’t see through the slot,” he said.

EARLIER: The former worker said he never saw any sexual abuse at Turana but had heard “rumours about a couple of officers” and recalled hearing about a boy being raped with a toothbrush.

He told the commission he now knows many of the rumours were true.