Phylis Read and Edith Orr, 49, have argued most of their lives that there are children’s bodies buried at the site but said they were always told to “keep our mouths shut”.
Their push for the dead to be respected went public in 2013 after the City of Ballarat asked for objections to a residential and commercial development on the site.
“We know they will find remains,” Ms Read said as she watched archaeologists and forensic crews dig up ground at the site yesterday. “We almost ended up in there with them.”
Ms Read’s voice trembled as she spoke of her time in the orphanage, describing what went on as “beyond horrible”