I write to you today with a heavy heart as we are reminded again of past failings that have caused and continue to cause great pain.
A media report by the ABC has again brought into focus the tragedy of what some children endured at BoysTown.
We were not approached for comment by the ABC before the story was published however had we been so, we would have said the following.
We are profoundly sorry for what they have endured and our apology which is a matter of public record - is unreserved.
The De La Salle Brothers have and continue to openly and publicly acknowledge that our Institution like countless others across Australia has been found wanting when it comes to the past protection of children from harm.
Some in our works religious and lay have betrayed their solemn obligation before God to do everything in their power to keep safe the children we work with.
And through those actions they have betrayed each and every Lasallian who works tirelessly day in and day out to support some of the most vulnerable in our community the young, the poor, the disadvantaged and the forgotten.
It is no secret that we are powerless to change what has happened and our focus must remain on addressing the hurt and suffering that has been caused.
The De La Salle Brothers have been and continue to be committed to do what they can to bring some healing to lives damaged as a result of institutional abuse through the provision of counselling, personal apology and the settlement of claims.
Accordingly, the Brothers have settled claims for large numbers of those who have come forward either through their own legal representation, through the National Redress Scheme, directly to the De La Salle Brothers as well as through the Catholic Church's Towards Healing scheme.
We will continue to do this acknowledging the heavy burden it places on us all including all who have joined in our Lasallian mission.
Thank you for all that you do in bringing to life the charism and spirituality of our Founder.
Br David Hawke FSC