The Salvation Army is a world-wide Christian Church with international headquarters in London. It delivers a range of social programs and services in Australia. In Queensland since 1885, the Salvation Army has established and run many institutions, programs and services for children. Queensland is part of the Salvation Army Australia's Eastern Territory.
The Salvation Army came to Queensland in 1885. In 1898 it established the Industrial School for Boys at Riverview. This was the first of many institutions for children established and run by the Salvation Army in Queensland.
The Salvation Army's institutions for children were progressively closed down from the mid 1970s into the late 1980s
From the late 1990s, government inquiries including the Forde Inquiry in Queensland and the Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care heard criticism of the Salvation Army and its treatment of children in its Homes.
In the Forgotten Australians report, the Committee made the statement:
that the overwhelming majority of submissions to this inquiry from ex-residents of Salvation Army institutions in all States reported negative experiences in these institutions, often citing cases of extreme forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. The Committee believes that there has been a notable reluctance by the Salvation Army to acknowledge past practices, in particular the nature and extent of abuse in its institutions.
The Salvation Army subsequently issued an apology to former residents of its children's homes:
From 1894 to the 1970s The Salvation Army operated children's homes around Australia. The Salvation Army deeply regrets that not all the children in its care received the love and protection they deserved. Some of the children experienced great fear living with rigid and harsh discipline. Some became victims of physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse. The Salvation Army acknowledges its failure with those children. The Salvation Army offers all persons who were hurt its unreserved apology.
In December 2010, the international leader of the Salvation Army issued an apology to former residents of its children's homes in Australia.
Sources used to compile this entry: Salvation Army.Eastern Territory, Call to worship: calls and convictions from Australia Eastern Territory's worship symposium, Salvation Army, Australian Eastern Territory, [Sydney], 2005, 60 pp.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 14 June 2011, Last modified: 9 October 2014