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Contact Stephanie Gotlib
Chief Executive Officer
03 9417 1025
stephaniegotlib@cyda.org.au

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Latest News

Australian Capital Territory to join the Redress Scheme (19 March 2018)
The Australian Capital Territory Government has announced that it will join the national Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. Further information is available in a media release by the Hon Dan Tehan, at https://ministers.dss.gov.au/media-releases/2921. The Australian Government continues to urge remaining government and non-government institutions to commit to joining the scheme.

National apology to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse reference group – Media release by the Hon Christian Porter MP (9 March 2018)
The Government has announced that it has established a reference group regarding the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. The 11 member Reference group is made up of a range of survivors and their representatives from across Australia, and will be chaired by the Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM. The group will advise the Government on the form and content of the national apology to be delivered to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse at the end of this year. Further information is available at https://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Media/Pages/National-Apology-to-Victims-and-Survivors-of-Child-Sexual-Abuse-Reference-Group-9-March-2018.aspx

NSW and Victoria to join the Redress Scheme (9 March 2018)
The New South Wales and Victorian governments have announced that they will opt-in to the National Redress Scheme. As such, victims of institutional child sexual abuse in these states will be able to apply for the Redress Scheme when it commences on 1 July 2018. Additionally, non-government institutions in NSW and Victoria, such as churches, are nowable to opt in to the Scheme. A media release with further details of this development is available from the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, at https://www.pm.gov.au/media/first-states-commit-redress-scheme.

Children’s Rights Report – Australian Human Rights Commission (2 March 2018)
This report discusses the work undertaken by the National Children’s Commissioner throughout 2016-17, which aims to ensure the rights of Australian children are respected and upheld. Chapter 4 of the report, Child safety and wellbeing, focuses on how child harm and abuse is understood in Australia, particularly when it occurs in organisational settings. This chapter outlines the development of the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The report can be downloaded from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/childrens-rights/publications/childrens-rights-report-2017

Victoria set to abolish ‘unfair’ sexual abuse redress loophole – SBS News (7 March 2018)
The Victorian Government has proposed laws that are aimed at eliminating the ‘Ellis defence’ – an “unfair legal loophole” of the national redress scheme. The Ellis defence can allow organisations, such as the Catholic Church, to avoid being sued by abuse survivors. The full article is available at https://www.sbs.com.au/news/victoria-set-to-abolish-unfair-sexual-abuse-redress-loophole.

The Red Zone Report – EROC Australia (28 February 2018)
Independent journalists have released The Red Zone Report for End Rape on Campus (EROC) Australia. This report details the extensive history of hazing, sexual assault, and harassment at residential colleges around the country. For further information, and to download the report, visit EROC Australia at http://www.endrapeoncampusau.org/

Article released – Budget cut hits ‘vital’ organisations that aid abuse investigations (NSW) – Sydney Morning Herald (14 February 2018)
This article, published on the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), discusses the planned cuts to funding of disability support groups in New South Wales. The NSW Ombudsman warns that these cuts will impact on investigations into assaults, sexual offences, and neglect of people with disability. This comes after the organisation reported a 30 per cent increase in referrals of alleged abuse-related crimes against people with disability last financial year. The full article is available from the SMH, at https://goo.gl/1eL6Vs.

Report released – “I needed help, instead I was punished”: abuse and neglect of prisoners with disabilities in Australia – Human Rights Watch (6 February 2018)
This report, released by Human Rights Watch, is based on research between September 2016 and January 2018. The findings reveal the violation of rights experienced by people with disability in prisons across Australia. Prisoners with disability in Australia are at a disproportionately high risk of experiencing sexual and physical violence, and of being held in solitary confinement. The full report is available from Human Rights Watch, at https://goo.gl/rWYm1P.

Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2017 and related bill
The proposed Bill establishes a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The proposed scheme is intended to operate for 10 years, from 1 July 2018, and will provide three elements of redress to eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse: a monetary payment of up to $150,000; access to counselling and psychological services; and facilitation of a personal response from responsible institutions at the request of the survivor. The reporting date is 13 March 2018. More information is available from the Parliament of Australia website, at https://goo.gl/pHnb35. CYDA has provided a submission, which is available on our website at http://www.cyda.org.au/cdasubmissions.

Article released – Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Report released – CFCA (15 December 2017)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) have released a short article that summarises the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The article is available from the CFCA at https://goo.gl/cK8r9R

Article released – It’s organisational leaders who fail to manage situational risks for the safety of children – CFCA (22 January 2018)
Child Family Community Australia (CFCA) released this article, in which Professor Daryl Higgins reflects on the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and considers how organisational leaders can best respond. The article is available from the CFCA, at https://goo.gl/GHJ7QB

Resource released – Child maltreatment in early childhood: developmental vulnerability on the AEDC – FACS Analysis and Research NSW (January 2018)
This resource, developed by the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services Analysis and Research (FACSAR), presents the key findings from the NSW Child Development Study. The study aimed to identify vulnerability and protective factors for a variety of health educational and social outcomes of children in NSW. The resource is available from FACSAR, at https://goo.gl/kPNGbp

Final Report Released – Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (15 December 2017)
The Royal Commission’s Final Report was delivered to the Governor-General of Australia and released today. The Report comprises 17 volumes and includes a total of 189 new recommendations, many of which are aimed at making institutions safer for children. More information is available from the Royal Commission, at https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/final-report

Final sitting marks the end of the Royal Commission
The final sitting of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was held on Thursday 14 December 2017, at the Governor Macquarie Tower in Sydney. Further information, including a video of the sitting, is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/q8Hw9r

Report released – Case Study 42 – The responses of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse – Royal Commission (7 December 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a redacted version of the report of Case Study 42 – The responses of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse. This report follows a public hearing that inquired into the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by people associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. The full report is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/droLzD

Podcast series – The Reckoning – Guardian Australia (11 December 2017)
Guardian Australia has released a new podcast series on Australia’s Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse. Through discussion with victims, experts and participants in the Royal Commission, the series investigates why the Commission was necessary and what it uncovered. The Reckoning can be downloaded from the Guardian, at https://goo.gl/Bm4sgB, or iTunes, at https://goo.gl/Z8bUPw.

Report released – Case Study 35 – Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne – Royal Commission (5 December 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a redacted version of the report of Case Study 35 – Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. This report follows a public hearing that focused on the response of Catholic Church authorities within or associated with the Archdiocese of Melbourne to allegations and complaints of child sexual abuse. More information, and the full report, is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/oAn9z8

Report Released – Case Study 28 – Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat – Royal Commission (6 December 2017)
The Royal Commission has released a redacted version of the report of Case Study 28 – Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat. The report follows a public hearing that examined the response of the Congregation of Christian Brothers in the St Patrick’s Province of Ballarat and the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat to complaints and allegations of child sexual abuse. More information, and the full report, is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/a1o2Y9

Final report released – Royal Commission into the protection and detention of children in the Northern Territory (17 November 2017)
The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory delivered its final report to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments on 17 November 2017. The Commission’s inquiry revealed systemic failures, with children and young people being subjected to regular, repeated and distressing mistreatment. The systemic failures occurred over many years and were ignored at the highest levels. More information, and the full report, is available from the Commission’s website, at https://goo.gl/Mdixx9

Justice McClellan addresses Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar – Royal Commission (14 November 2017)
The Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, addressed the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science Seminar at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. His full speech is available from the Royal Commission, at https://goo.gl/A1frPF

National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations – AHRC
The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will develop a National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations to increase the safety of Australian children and young people by building child-safe cultures across organisational settings. This project has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Government as part of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children Third Action Plan (2015-2018). More information is available from the AHRC, at https://goo.gl/7tMHL1. If you have any feedback, please send it to the AHRC at childsafe@humanrights.gov.au

Past Information