Neerkol kids were guinea-pigs: MP

TEST SITE: An image of Neerkol orphanage where, according to documents, children were used to test vaccines.
TEST SITE: An image of Neerkol orphanage where, according to documents, children were used to test vaccines.

THEY were starved, raped, beaten and humiliated; now there is a shocking claim that for decades, children at Neerkol, an orphanage near Rockhampton run by the Catholic Church, were experimented on.

A Federal MP is fighting for justice for former Neerkol resident Sandra Pollard who was sent to the Sisters of Mercy institution when her mother died in the 1960s.

Mrs Pollard’s husband, John, applied for documents relating to the abuse of children at Neerkol under the Freedom of Information Act and received a truckload of files that he says prove youngsters were used as unknowing guinea-pigs, for unproven vaccines for diseases like smallpox and polio.

Western Australian MP Dennis Jensen has taken the issue to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, calling for “the fullest possible inquiry for those who were so grievously wronged”.

Mr Jensen claims there is evidence Neerkol children were infected with viruses linked to various forms of cancer.

The implication is that there could be hundreds of former Neerkol residents, many living in and around Rockhampton, who have no idea they were the subject of medical experiments.

Speaking from his home in Melville, near Perth, Mr Pollard told The Morning Bulletin his wife’s life had been wrecked by her experiences at Neerkol.

And he claimed that a series of previous official inquiries into the abuse of the “Forgotten Australians” in care did not uncover evidence children were experimented upon.

“The Ford Inquiry revelations were bad enough. It was established that there were avoidable deaths in Neerkol caused by neglect,” he said.

“But as I read the documents I was disgusted.

“There has been the most despicable deceit by the authorities to cover up the truth over many years.”

Mr Pollard said his wife of 30 years had suffered constant health and psychological problems as a direct result of her time in the orphanage where she was raped by a priest.

“She has tremendous health problems.

There are very few medications she can take and I think this might be linked to the vaccinations she received.”

Mr Pollard said his wife was not seeking compensation, but he would like to see all victims granted a Federal Gold Card for the continuing medical problems the victims carried into old age.

Capricornia MP Kirsten Livermore said she was unaware of the case, but would look into it if Mr Pollard wrote to her.



Local Real Estate

Featured Real Estate
RANGE GABLE WITH... $749,000
House 5 3 5
The Perfect Family... Auction on site...
House 3 1 4
LOOKS ARE DECEIVING $549,000 Neg
House 5 2 1
BRILLIANT INVESTMENT 3... $279,000
House 3 1 2

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Rockhampton jobs listed daily

Featured Jobs
Customer Service... Yeppoon Full Time
GENERAL MANAGER ... Gladstone Full Time $120 - $150
medical practitioner Rockhampton Full Time
Mechanic Wanted Dingo Full Time


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Job Listings

Search for your next job now.
Learn More

Win $100 Fuel...

Rocky Life Stick N Win
Learn More

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Search for a property online right now.
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

Horoscopes

Virgo

You may feel that the foundation on which your goals and ideas are built is a little shaky. When your confidence is wavering, try looking to...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save