It was a hard night on Monday for many Australians as we watched the terrible pictures of child abuse from the Northern Territory. The next morning, I asked Jared Sharpe, one of the distraught lawyers from the Four Corners program, how this could be hidden for five minutes, let alone for so many years. He said it was from a “culture of cover-up”.

Jared was talking about the attitudes of a specific part of the Northern Territory, but I want to suggest to you that it is much wider than that. We should not be surprised that the sadistic abuse of these inmates had been hidden from us for so long, because it has been part of our country’s historical DNA since European settlement. Again and again, we have simply rounded up a group of difficult people and got them out of our sight.