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This is a program from Australia’s current affairs show Today Tonight. The following is an excerpt of the transcript of the video, both of which are available at this link: Australia’s ‘child labour camp’

“Meanwhile, the work schedule for children was fulltime, hard and without reward. Working 35 hours a week when he was eight-years-old, by the time he was fourteen, the work changed to kitchen duty. A military muster every morning required marching and saluting to the cause of saving mankind from the intergalactic ravages, described by the Church’s science fiction founder L Ron Hubbard.

The kids wore all black uniforms, and were always required to run, never walk. So-called home schooling was provided in fits and starts, taking a back seat to hard labour and brainwashing. “As soon as you turn fifteen, anyone, you’re straight out of school. It doesn’t matter what grade you’re in, what level of maths, what level of anything, you’re straight out,” Shane said.

The mess hall served food priced at 30 cents per meal, mostly beans and rice. The adults ate first. “They would all come in and eat whatever they wanted, and then we went after them to take what’s there – sometimes there wouldn’t be much, so you’d get little bits of food, and it wasn’t really sufficient,” Shane said.

Those who dared question the brutality of this place were dealt with swiftly and severely. “They used to live under our squash courts – it’s a mud, dirt floor,” Shane recalled. “We put people in there and they live in there, when they’re on the RPF they’d sleep down there, and they’d study down there.” Why would you put people in a dank, mouldy, sinking foundation underneath a squash court? According to Shane it’s “because you’re a bad person, you have to be segregated from everyone.”

By the age of fifteen Shane was living a nightmare even he now struggles to believe. “As soon as I turned fifteen I was working seven days a week, fourteen hour days.” That’s 100 hours a week spent in a commercial kitchen. Shane and other children slaved away – cooking meals all day, every day, studying and snatching what little sleep they could. ”

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