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Greg Malcolm's story

‘My father was a very violent man and he dragged us all over the country … Never had a mother. I did, of course, but he kicked her out … when I was about two-and-a-half years old.’

Greg told the Commissioner that his father abused all of his children, ‘because he was a drunk, a violent drunk and he sexually abused us kids, and I was rebelling against that and that’s how I grew up, rebelling against my father and that’s what I was doing, stealing cars, and never went to school, and I ended up in boys’ homes’.

The first time Greg was sent to a juvenile justice centre in New South Wales was in the early 1970s, when he was 11. He was sentenced to 18 months in the centre, but was released 10 months early. Greg believes that this might have been because the authorities were aware that he had been sexually abused by a group of older boys.

Greg was initially placed in the section ‘where the little kids were’. One morning, the boys were lined up in the dormitory and ‘this other kid just … turned around and smashed me right in the mouth’. A few weeks later, when the boy was about to do the same thing, Greg ‘smashed him first, before he could touch me … [so] they moved me from the little boys’ place to the next one up, and that’s where the sexual abuse happened’.

Greg told the Commissioner that ‘four kids … in the middle of the night … held me down, smashed me, and punched me. There was blood everywhere, on my bed and then the sexual assault happened’.

Greg couldn’t see who assaulted him because his face was pushed into his pillow, ‘and if I moved it they just kept on punching me, and I just lay there frightened all night’. The next morning, Greg got up and threw his bloodied sheets in the bin.

Although Greg spent time in other juvenile justice centres, he avoided adult jail. ‘A judge told me … “Next time I see you I’m going to send you to the big house” and that frightened me, because I suspect that a lot of the same stuff’d happen … so I thought to myself, “Well, I’m not going there”, so I just didn’t get caught anymore.’

Greg has spent much of his adult life wandering, unable to settle in once place for long or maintain relationships. He was diagnosed with severe personality disorder and depression, but does not like taking medication. Instead, ‘I drink a lot. A hell of a lot. To soothe my head’.

Greg has had some counselling as an adult, but believes ‘it would have been helpful when I was 13, 14, and now, you know, just ‘cause I’ve lived how I’ve lived all my life, it’s hard to seek out these things, you know … A woman told me the other day that I should see a clinical psychologist … that deals with trauma, so I want to look into that a bit’.

Greg told the Commissioner that ‘I’m trying to buy a block of land … out in the bush. Not many people around. That’s what I need, I think … I just want to live quietly’.

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