Marcus was born in Queensland in the 1980s. His father died when he was young and his stepfather was violent. From the age of about 12, Marcus moved between foster homes and boys’ homes.
He arrived in a De La Salle boys’ institution in the 1990s. There were cottages with live-in staff and about a dozen boys in each cottage.
From the outset he wasn’t comfortable calling the staff ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’, but he thought Brother Paul, the director, seemed nice. It seemed odd to him though that the Brothers watched boys as they lined up naked for a shower.
Marcus said that there was a lot of violence towards younger boys from those older than them. On a number of occasions, he was raped by a group of older boys who held him down and put a pillow over his head so he couldn’t scream.
‘I remember that it was really scary and I was really upset because I didn’t want to be gay and I thought that that meant that I was gay and all this other stuff.’
Brother Jones approached Marcus after one beating and rubbed cream all over his bruises and then his genitals. Marcus thought it strange and didn’t know whether it was right or wrong.
After leaving the institution Marcus struggled in life and said he’d tried several times to take his own life. He’d also been in and out of prison over a period of years.
He’d once met Brother Paul and asked why he’d let so much violence go unchecked.
‘He said it was hard because he had to run the place and, you know, some of the boys were naughty so they need tough discipline.’
In regard to seeking compensation, Marcus had mixed feelings.
‘You know, they wanted me to go to a counsellor and bill them for it, and I said, “Look, I don’t want to be going and having ongoing – where I have to keep contacting you all the time. I want you out of my life. I don’t want you in my life”.’