Salvation - Media Information

Please feel free to use any of the enclosed information as part of your media campaign for Vikki's latest book Salvation - The true story of Rod Braybon's fight for justice.


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the true story of Rod Braybon’s fight for justice


By Vikki Petraitis

In 1950, Rod Braybon’s father had died, leaving his mother with eight children she couldn’t care for. As a ward of the state, Rod was passed from institution to institution until he finally ended up at the notorious Bayswater Boys’ Home run by the Salvation Army.

Rod endured years of ill-treatment at the hands of the Salvation Army, then spent a life-time repressing the memories that haunted him.

Finally, after seeing an article in a newspaper, Rod decided to speak out. His story created a nation-wide sensation and won a prestigious award for the journalist who broke it.


Rod was left at the Russell Street police headquarters with four of his siblings by his grandfather in 1952. Rod was one of eight Braybon children. He and all of his siblings became wards of the state.
In 1956, Rod and a younger brother, Mick, arrived at the Bayswater Boys’ Home. He was sexually assaulted on his first night by a Salvation Army officer called Lieutenant Haywood. When Rod tried to report it to the head of the Bayswater Boys' Home the next morning, he was beaten with a wooden tomato stake and put in a cell on bread and water for two days. He was 12-years-old at the time.
The officers had bedrooms at the end of the boys’ dormitories and two of the officers were paedophiles who regularly took boys from their beds and molested them. In addition to the sexual assaults, many of the Bayswater boys were beaten and brutalised.   
Nearly 50 years after his experiences at the hands of the Salvation Army officers, Rod Braybon became a whistle-blower and told his story to journalist Brendan Donohoe who later won a Gold Quill award and was instrumental in bringing about an official public Premier’s apology to all state wards who had suffered.
Rod wanted Salvation written because when he finally got compensation from the Salvation Army, their letter of ‘apology’ was so full of legalese that it made his blood boil. Phrases like: I wish to express The Salvation Army’s apology for the emotional and physical abuse which you say occurred… were like a red rag to a bull.
Not content with bringing to light the Salvation Army’s historical treatment of state wards, Rod Braybon wanted the state government to acknowledge its role in abuse of state wards. He figured that if he was a ward of the state, then the state should have protected him.
On 7 May 2008, Rod Braybon lodged a Writ against the State of Victoria. At the time of printing, they have yet to settle his claim.
Vikki Petraitis is the best-selling author of The Phillip Island Murder and The Frankston Murders among others.