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Latest Royal Commission News & Updates


 

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November 2016

Submissions have been called from individuals or organisations for a public hearing into the institutional responses of various institutions into allegations of Child Sexual Abuse.  These submissions must be made by 25 November 2016 (for a hearing to commence in February 2017) in writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney, NSW, 2001 or via email to . Submissions can be anonymous

Those institutions are:

  • Catholic Church authorities in Australia;
  • Anglican Church authorities in Australia;
  • Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi;
  • Uniting Church in Australia;
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd.

A research report (written by Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dr Sarah Wayland, and Ms Gabrielle Hindmarsh from the Centre for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney) has been released which suggests that up to 14 per cent of children with disability are likely to experience sexual abuse. 

Read the report: Disability and child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.

 


October 2016

The Royal Commission has released a discussion paper examining trauma-informed care and the implementation of trauma-informed approaches to support survivors of trauma, including survivors of child sexual abuse.

This paper was produced by Dr Antonia Quadara and Cathryn Hunter from the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Read the discussion paper: Principles of trauma-informed approaches to child sexual abuse.

 

The written submissions for the public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat and the Congregation of Christian Brothers in St Patrick's Province have been published.

The submissions can be found on the Royal Commission's Case Study 28 page.

 

A public hearing inquiring into the response to children with problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools will commence on 20 October 2016 at Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.  Read more about the problematic or harmful sexual behaviours in schools hearing ...

 


September 2016

A public hearing inquiring into the response of Catholic Church authorities to allegations of child sexual abuse by John Joseph Farrell will be held on 12 September 2016 at the Royal Commission’s hearing rooms in Sydney.  Read more about the John Joseph Farrell hearing ...

 

A consultation paper Records and record keeping practices was released by the Royal Commission on 2 September 2016. 

This paper proposes "high-level principles to guide institutions in practising good record keeping and creating accurate records about child sexual abuse". The Royal Commission seeks submissions on these proposed principles and on whether a records advocacy service is needed to advise and support survivors who are seeking access to records.

Read the Consultation Paper.


August 2016

A public hearing will be held in Newcastle from 29 August 2016 inquiring into the response of Catholic Church authorities in the Maitland-Newcastle region to allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy etc.  Read more about the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Church hearing ... 
 

A public hearing will be held in Newcastle from Tuesday, 2 August 2016 at 10:00am inquiring into the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and lay people involved in or associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.  Read more about the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle hearing ...


July 2016

55 submissions from service providers, peak bodies, advocacy groups, statutory bodies, government agencies and academics in response to the Royal Commission's consultation paper on out-of-home care have been published.  Read the "Making Institutions Child Safe" submissions ...

 

A public hearing will be held in Sydney from Monday 11 July 2016 at 10.00am inquiring the experiences of people who were sexually abused as children by disability service providers.  Read more about the disability service providers hearing ...

 


June 2016

A public hearing will be held in Sydney from Tuesday, 21 June 2016 commencing at 10:00am inquiring into the experiences of men and women who were sexually abused as children in certain divisions of the Australian Defence Force.  Read more about the Australian Defence Force hearing ...

A public roundtable will be held on 15 June to discuss responses to child sexual abuse when there is a multi-disciplinary approach from police and other agencies.  This roundtable was a part of the Royal Commission’s examination of the criminal justice system in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.  Read more about the roundtable examining responses from police and other agencies ...

 


May 2016

The Royal Commission has released two research reports:

  1. A study into the legislative—and related key policy and operational—frameworks for sharing information relating to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts; and
  2. Implementation best practice: A rapid evidence review, examined the effectiveness of planned strategies to change or introduce new practices, programs or policies.

Read more about the 2 Royal Commision research reports ...

 

A special reminder has been issued for Aboriginal and Torres Strait survivors of institutional child sexual abuse that they must register with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by 30 September 2016 if they wish to have a private session.  Read more about the reminder for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders ...


Registrations for Private Sessions will close on 30 September 2016. Private sessions allow survivors of child sexual abuse in an institution to share their story directly with a Commissioner in a private setting.   Read more about the Private Sessions registration closure ...

 


March - April 2016

Case Study 26 - The Report of the findings of the responses of the Sisters of Mercy, the Catholic Archdiocese of Rockhampton and the Queensland Government to allegations of child sexual abuse at St Joseph's Orphanage, Neerkol are now available. 

 

A public hearing will be held in Sydney from Monday 4 April 2016 into the experiences of men and women who were sexually abused as children in sporting clubs. 

Read more about the public hearing into abuse of children in sporting clubs.

 

A public hearing was held in Sydney from Tuesday, 15 March 2016 to Thursday 24 April. inquiring into criminal justice issues relating to child sexual abuse in an institutional context.

Read more about the public hearing into criminal justice issues.

 

A public hearing was held in Sydney from Wednesday 2 March inquiring into the experiences of children who received dance instruction at RG Dance Pty Ltd in Chiswick NSW, and former students of Australian Institute of Music in Surry Hills, New South Wales between 2002 and 2011.

Read more about the public hearing into RG Dance Pty Ltd & the Australian Institute of Music.

 


 

January - February 2016

A public hearing will be held in Hobart from Wednesday 27 January 2016 inquiring into the response of the Church of England Boys’ Society and the Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Read more about the Church of England Boys' Society and Anglican Dioceses of Tasmania etc hearing.

 


 

November 2015

A public hearing will be held in Brisbane from Tuesday 3 November 2015 inquiring into the experience of former students of Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul’s School in Queensland.

Read more about the Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul's School hearing.

 

A public hearing will be held in Melbourne from Tuesday 24 November 2015 inquiring into the response of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Read more about the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne hearing.


October 2015

A public hearing was held in Adelaide from Tuesday 6 October 2015 to Wednesday 14 October 2015 inquiring into the experience of former child residents at institutions operated by The Salvation Army (Southern Territory) between 1940 and 1990.

Read more about the Salvation Army (Southern Territory) hearing.


September 2015

From Tuesday 1 September 2015 a public hearing will be held in Melbourne inquiring into the experience of former students of Geelong Grammar School, Victoria. 

Read more about the Geelong Grammar School, Victoria hearing.


August 2015

Potential New Penalties Discussed for Institutions Involved in Abuse of Children

Read about the Honourable Justice Peter McClellan's (Royal Commissioner) keynote address to the National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia in the August 2015 edition of Not-for-Profit Law Notes

 

On Monday 24 August, the Royal Commission will hear the evidence of retired Bishop Geoffrey Robinson regarding the history and development of the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse prior to the introduction of Towards Healing.  

Read more about the Catholic Church hearing.

 

From Monday, 17 August 2015, the Royal Commission will hold a public hearing into the experiences of former child residents at Turana Youth Training Centre, Winlaton Youth Training Centre and Baltara Reception Centre between the 1960s and early 1990s. 

Read more about the Turana and Winlaton Youth Training Centre and Baltara Reception Centre hearing


July 2015

Research Report released:

The Royal Commission has released a research report regarding sentencing for child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

Jehova's Witnesses hearing:

Commencing on Monday 27 July 2015 a public hearing will take place to inquire into the response to allegations of child sexual abuse by the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd.

Read more about the Jehovah's Witnesses hearing ...


June 2015

On Monday, 29 June 2015 in Sydney, the second stage of the Royal Commission’s hearing examining the prevention of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse occurring in out-of-home care will take place.

Read more about the out-of-home care hearing ...

On Tuesday 19 May - Friday 5 June a public hearing will take place for residents, students and others examining experiences of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and various religious institutions run by the Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat.

Read more about the Ballarat hearing ...


May 2015

On Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 10.00am a public hearing will commence in Sydney which will examine the policies and procedures of the

  • NSW Health Care Complaints Commission,
  • the then NSW Medical Board;
  • Royal North Shore Hospital,
  • Northern Sydney Local Health District;
  • NSW Ministry of Health
  • Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria

in regards to their responses to allegations of child sexual abuse. 

Read more about this hearing.


April 2015

On Tuesday 14 April 2015  at 10am a public hearing will be held in Rockhampton to inquire into the experiences of people who were resident at St Joseph's Orphanage, Neerkol (operated by the Sisters of Mercy) between 1940 and 1975.

Read more about this hearing.


March 2015

The Knox Grammar School hearings will continue (commenced in February).  Read more about the Knox Grammar School hearings.

On Tuesday 10 March – Friday 20 March there will be a Public hearing into out-of-home care, Sydney.  This hearing will be held at Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.  Read more about the out-of-home care hearing.


February 2015

On Monday 2 February there will be a public hearing into Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi.  Read more about the Yeshivah hearings.

On Monday 23 February - Friday 6 March there will be a public hearing into Knox Grammar School, Sydney.  The hearing will be held at Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney.  Read more about the Knox Grammar School hearings.


November 2014

On Wednesday 19 November 2014 a public hearing will be held at Hobart Federal Court at 10:00am which will inquire into the responses to allegations of child sexual abuse by the Hutchins School and the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania.  Read more about the Hutchins School and the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania public hearing.


October 2014

On Tuesday 7 October 2014 a public hearing will look at the responses to allegations of child sexual abuse by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches.  Read more about the Australian Christian Churches case study.

On Wednesday 22 October 2014 a public hearing will be held into responses of the State to allegations instituted by former residents of Bethcar Children’s Home, Brewarrina, New South Wales.  Read more about the Bethcar Children's Home Case study.


September 2014

Royal Commission granted extension

The Federal Government has granted an extension to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to continue for a further two years. The Commission will now be expected to deliver its final report by 15 December 2017.

The Royal Commission received submissions from the public and held a number of hearings through 2013 and 2014 and was originally expected to deliver its final report by 31 December 2015.

In addition to the extension of time, the Commission will be provided with additional funding of $125 million. Attorney-General George Brandis told the Australian Senate on 2 September 2014 that the extension of time and further resources will allow the Commission to hold an additional 30 public hearings, conduct another 3000 private sessions and carry out 52 further research projects.

Please if you have any questions about the Royal Commission and how it may affect you or your organisation.

Public Sessions in Darwin & Sydney

On Monday 22nd September a public hearing will inquire into the experiences of men and women who were sexually abused as children at the Retta Dixon Home (Northern Territory).  Read further details about this public hearing


July 2014

From Monday 7 July 2014 the Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to examine the response by Swimming Australia Ltd to allegations of child sexual abuse.Venue:Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Read further details about this public hearing


June 2014

On 10 June 2014 the Royal Commission will hold a public hearing to examine the response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sexual abuse in schools in the ACT, NSW and Queensland.
Venue:ACT Magistrates Court Building
4 Knowles Place
Canberra ACT 2601
 


On Monday 16 June the Royal Commission will be holding a Roundtable discussion to discuss the Working with Children CheckOn Tuesday 24 - Friday 4th July there will be a Public Hearing case study in Sydney (details to come).


May 2014

A public hearing Case Study (which commenced late April) will continue into May, looking into the experiences of a number of men who were resident at Christian Brothers’ residences in Western Australia.  Read further details of this Case Study. 


April 2014

To assist in the prevention of child sexual abuse in out-of-home care, the Royal Commission will hold a roundtable discussion in Sydney this month.This discussion will be convened by Justice Jennifer Coate and Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM on Wednesday 16 April 2014.State and Territory government representatives, regulators, policy experts, out-of-home care practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, academics and advocacy groups are participating in these discussions.

Read more about these Royal Commission Round Table discussions


March 2014

The Royal Commission will be returning to the Kimberley from 31 March to 11 April 2014.  In its second visit to the region, Royal Commission staff are meeting with Aboriginal and other community organisations and service providers in Broome and Kununurra.

Read more about the Royal Commission's visit to the Kimberley


January 2014

The first public hearing for 2014 will commence on Tuesday 28th January and will investigate the response by the Salvation Army (eastern territory) to instances of child abuse in its children's homes. 

Read more about this public hearing into responses by the Salvation Army (Eastern Territory). 


December 2013

Public Hearing - Case Study 4

This Public Hearing starts on 9 December and will look at the principles and procedures of Towards Healing adopted by the Catholic Church and their application.You will be able to watch proceedings live from 10am Monday 9 December 2013 via the webcast.

Read the public notice.  Read more about the Towards Healing hearing. 

Private Sessions - Dates for December:

2 December 2013 – Sydney, Brisbane and Perth
9 December 2013 – Sydney, Melbourne
16 December 2013 – Melbourne and Brisbane
 
Read more about Private Sessions.
 

November 2013
 

Public Hearing - Case Study 3

This Public Hearing starts on 18th November and will look into the response of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton to claims of child sexual abuse at the North Coast Children’s Home in Lismore.  This hearing can be watched via live webcast.   Read more about Public Hearings.

Private Sessions (Brisbane)

Private sessions in Brisbane are commencing 11 November.  Read more ...


Submissions for 4th Issues Paper - Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-of-Home Care
closed on 8 November 2013.


Private Sessions (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth)Private sessions commence 6 November 2013 in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth. Check out the dates the sessions will be happening in your city/state.


October 2013 

Issues Paper 4

The Issues Paper Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-of-Home Care has now been released and the Royal Commission are seeking submissions from individuals and government and non-government organisations about preventing sexual abuse of children in out-of-home care. Submissions are due by 8 November 2013.  

Visit http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/our-work/issues-papers/issues-papers/ to learn more.

Royal Commission visits Canberra

The Royal Commission will be holding face-to-face private sessions with Commissioners in Canberra commencing 2 October.  To find out more about these sessions visit http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/royal-commission-returns-to-canberra-to-hear-more-stories-from-survivors-of-institutional-child-sexual-abuse/

Webcasts

Case Study 2 is scheduled for Public Hearing via live webcast commencing 21 October 2013. 

To find out more about Case Study 2 and viewing live webcasts visit http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/public-hearing-case-study-2/


September 2013

Public Hearings

The Royal Commission is about to hold hearings to consider evidence about child sexual abuse in institutions, and to find out about failures and successes in preventing abuse.The hearings are formal and follow a set of rules. The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Sydney on Monday 16 September 2013. The Public Hearing will examine issues including:

  • how information was shared between the various organisations;
  • how the Working With Children Check was conducted and assessed; and
  • whether organisational factors may have influenced responses to allegations and information.

The public can attend the hearing, or alternatively you can view proceedings live on the day via the homepage. The Public Hearings will be held at

Governor Macquarie Tower,
1 Farrer Place, Sydney.

The hearings will start at 10am and run to 4pm.


June 2013

Working With Children Checks - Royal Commission call for Submissions

All states and territories have a system whereby, in general terms, adults working with children, on a paid or unpaid basis, are subject to some level of pre-employment screening to determine their suitability to work with children.A number of individuals and organisations have raised with the Royal Commission that the WWCC should be nationally and consistently applied.Submissions for this issues paper are now closed.  To read the resulting paper visit http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/view-submissions-to-issues-paper-1-working-with-children-check/


February 2013

Following the appointment of the Commissioners, they formally commenced duties on Monday 4 February 2013. The Commissioners met in Sydney on 7 and 8 February 2013 to discuss the methodology the Commission will use and the processes it will follow to fulfil its terms of reference. It proposes to consult with selected peak bodies about some matters of procedure in the near future. The priority for the Commissioners is to establish procedures to ensure that this complex and sensitive inquiry is conducted thoroughly and with procedural fairness. The Commissioners are aware that many people in the community want to tell the Commission about their experiences.It is critical that the Commission have in place trained staff so as to listen to people’s experiences in a way that provides necessary support and reduces associated trauma. This will take time to set up properly. The Commission’s primary office and main hearing rooms will be located in Sydney. However, evidence will be gathered at many locations throughout Australia.Ms Janette Dines is occupying the position of Chief Executive Officer. Ms Gail Furness SC has been appointed as Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission.


11 January 2013

The Letters Patent, containing the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into institutional responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters were released, together with the names of the Commissioners.

Read the Terms of Reference ...Read more about the Commissioners ...


COAG Meeting
7 December 2012

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) met in Canberra on 7 December 2012.Its Communique following that meeting included the following statement about the Royal Commission:

Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional ContextsAll governments expressed support for, and undertook to cooperate with, a Commonwealth Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Contexts.
COAG agreed that it is a national priority to identify what further systemic responses are necessary to protect children from sexual abuse in institutional contexts and ensure appropriate responses to any such abuse.COAG also agreed it is important that those affected by child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts can share their experiences to assist with healing and to inform the development of strategies and reforms.COAG further agreed that the Royal Commission should respect the work of a number of current inquiries dealing with matters relevant to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts and also have regard for the lessons learned and the findings of other previously completed inquiries.

 
 

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