The Rockhampton Sisters of Mercy say a report into child abuse in Queensland institutions is useless unless the Government acts. The congregation ran the former Neerkol Orphanage, which was the setting of stories of abuse contained in the Forde Enquiry.
    For nine months the Forde Enquiry heard hundreds of stories of abuse, and has called for an apology and compensation from the Government and churches which ran the homes.
    ABC News reports that the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church publicly apologised and initiated compensation talks after more than 60 former residents mounted legal action in 1997.
    But Sister Di-Anne Rowan says the report is the most significant gesture of recognition.
    "It was a difficult time for the sisters, as well as for the children, but we really having heard their experiences we wanted to be able to say we'd listened and acknowledged what had happened and caused so much suffering," she said.
    "I'd hope as well as saying those things and writing those things that people will find practical ways to help them."
    ABC 1:04pm 9/6/99

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