Malc was born into a large family in a regional town in New South Wales during the 1950s. His father was often violent when he was drunk, and his mother was unwell. They also lived with his father’s sister and her family, and there were many arguments in the home.
In the early 1960s, when Malc was eight, his mother went to another city to receive treatment for her illness. His father left Malc and his siblings in the care of his aunty, but before long, the children were removed from the house and placed into state care.
Malc’s siblings were adopted by different families, but he was sent to a boys’ training home where he stayed for the next five years without ever being visited by his family. Malc does not know why he was the only one sent to a home.
Malc was assigned a number when he arrived, and the workers always referred to him by number instead of by name. He had to ask for permission to do anything. He endured ‘strict’ discipline, and attended a local primary school where ‘not much effort’ was put into his education. Malc felt like he was in a jail.
In the mid-1960s when he was 10, a new master arrived in Malc’s junior dormitory. He recalls the dormitory master staying in the showers to watch him and the other boys wash.
‘Every time I’d walk past him he’d grab me on the arse. It was the same when I went into the showers … He’d also give me a touch up when I walked out.’
One night while Malc was sleeping, a man got into his bed and tried to penetrate him. Unable to push him off, Malc made loud noises to deter him. He believes the man was the dormitory master, but because it was dark, he is not certain about this.
The dormitory master never approached Malc after this incident, but Malc was still too scared to say anything. Other boys in his dormitory had often discussed different workers who were assaulting them, but Malc did not contribute to these discussions because he was scared that he would get into trouble.
‘I didn’t know how to say anything ‘cause if I had said something I would have missed out on [food].’
One afternoon, when the boys were allowed to visit a local shopping mall, Malc asked one of the older boys to buy him a packet of cigarettes. Back at the home, a staff member named Lesley Daniels discovered the cigarettes and physically assaulted Malc as a form of punishment because, being in his early teens, Malc was too young to smoke.
‘He pulled down my pants and hit me several times with a thick, long cane. I couldn’t sit for a long time after that.’
Another time, a different staff member forced Malc to sit on an older boy’s lap. He could feel the boy’s erection, and not knowing what it was, jumped off immediately. Everyone laughed at him. Malc believes the staff member knew ‘exactly what he was doing’.
About a year later, Malc left the home and went to live with his mother in a neighbouring suburb. This was a difficult time for Malc because he didn’t really know his mother, and couldn’t show her much affection.
In his mid-teens, Malc left school and moved to a different town with his mother. He got a job, and his life was comfortable for several months until his mother died in an accident.
Malc became confused about his sexuality, and this persisted into his adulthood. He didn’t know anything about heterosexual sex and had to be told ‘how it worked’ by his friends.
The poor education Malc received meant that he never had a career. He has suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, was an angry man for a while, and had trouble showing affection.
When he was in his mid-20s, Malc told his wife about the sexual abuse, and was relieved that she was supportive. He is very happy with his relationships with his wife and children, but admits that he was initially an overprotective parent. Meeting his wife has been ‘one of the best experiences’ of his life.
Malc told no one else about the sexual abuse until he made a disclosure during an interview in the mid-2000s. This triggered a bout of depression, which motivated him to seek counselling, and made him reluctant to disclose the abuse to other family members.
Malc recently received a compensation payment in excess of $100,000. He was extremely satisfied with the legal process, and with the amount of money he received.
He has never reported the dormitory master to police because he can’t recall the man’s name.