A family of five children from New South Wales’s Pinkney Peninsula have told of their childhood at a residential care facility for the mentally ill, where the family says it felt trapped and under threat.
“I used to think it was just another day at the office,” said Melissa Giddings, aged eight, whose parents and two younger siblings have been housed at the Riddle Manor Children’s Home in South Australia’s Mount Isa.
I was scared of the staff, of how they would treat me, the fact that they would be watching me.” “
It was hard at first because we were scared.
I was scared of the staff, of how they would treat me, the fact that they would be watching me.”
Melissa said her mother would say: ‘We’re in a residential facility’ When Melissa was five, her mother, Melissa Geddings, who had previously been placed in an institution, decided to move her to the Riddler Manor Children, aged seven, because she was “worse” and needed to “live the life”.
“They didn’t even say hello to us, they were just just watching us.” “
The Giddlings’ experience of their life at the orphanage was different from that of the majority of the residents at the facility, who were housed in residential care facilities, but they were not alone. “
They didn’t even say hello to us, they were just just watching us.”
The Giddlings’ experience of their life at the orphanage was different from that of the majority of the residents at the facility, who were housed in residential care facilities, but they were not alone.
The Riddle House, established in 1890, is one of the oldest residential care institutions in Australia, and has been at the centre of a controversy over mental health services since it was established in the 1970s.
It is run by the Department of Health and Mental Health, and is currently being investigated by the Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICCI).
The inquiry into the institution was led by Professor John Griffiths, who was the former chairman of the Mental Health Commission of Australia.
The inquiry found that Riddle was “not suitable for the needs of its population” and was “unsuitable for the purposes for which it was constructed”.
It also found that there were significant concerns about the “care and management” of the residential care residents.
In its 2016 report, the FICCI said it was satisfied that “the health and wellbeing of the resident population was maintained at a high standard”.
The commission also recommended that “all of the current arrangements” at the institution should be reviewed and replaced.
“The commission has recommended that, following the review, a full public inquiry be conducted,” it said.
The family of Melissa Gudings, from Mount Isa, said their experience at the Mount Isa facility was “different” from the average resident of the facility.
Melissa said they lived in a “tiny, tiny” room, with a few beds and a small bathroom.
Melissa’s mother Melissa Guddings says her mother was “kind of a crazy person”. “
We were there just for a little bit and it was really bad.”
Melissa’s mother Melissa Guddings says her mother was “kind of a crazy person”.
Source: Supplied Melissa said their mother would sit in front of them and tell them stories about people who had died, and how the rest of the family was still living and well.
She said the staff “would just be looking at us and saying ‘you know, we don’t want you here’.”
We’d just go to bed, and we’d get up and leave, but not even go to our room.
My mum was kind of a really crazy person, she’d just come out of the hospital with a bloody nose and a bloody mouth.
She’d always have these dark scars on her face.
“Melissa and her siblings were taken from their mother at the age of six and sent to live with their grandmother at the Pinkney Estate in Mount Isa in the 1960s.
Melissa said she and her brothers lived with their grandparents in the same small room as their mother.
Their mother “was the only one that could care for them” and their grandmother “did all the cooking”.
The family moved from Mount Isaac to Mount Isa with Melissa in 1969.
They spent several years in the care of the Ridders, which were the only place for the children to be for a period of time.
We were all very scared of her,” she said. “
At the time, we had a bad relationship with our mother.
We were all very scared of her,” she said.
Melissa’s grandmother, who died in 2006, was not in the facility at the time of Melissa’s arrival, but she was still there when Melissa and other children were taken.
Giddings said she remembers her grandmother “being very good to us”.
“She was always very polite