From today, the Department of Social Services will maintain and publish a list of institutions on its website that have not yet joined the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse, as well as institutions that have joined.
Where an institution has not yet joined, but has indicated that it intends doing so and has given a likely timeframe, this information is also provided.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, said that this list would give a public indication of the status of the institutions that were named as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse including information contained in the final report of the commission.
“It is important that survivors - and the broader community - have access to a credible and authoritative source of information as to which institutions have, and have not yet, joined the National Redress Scheme,” Mr Fletcher said.
“The publication of these lists provides information and transparency for people who have experienced abuse and may be considering applying for redress.
“In December, I and the state and territory Ministers who comprise the Governance Board of the National Redress Scheme, announced that early in the new year, we would commence public reporting of institutions which have, and have not yet, joined the Scheme.
“At that time we called on all institutions which have not yet joined the Scheme to do so as soon as possible.
“Since then, more institutions have joined. Indeed, just yesterday I announced seven more institutions joining the Scheme, including two significant Catholic orders, the Christian Brothers and the Marists Brothers.”
In the last three months, the number of applications that can be processed because an institution has joined the scheme has more than tripled, rising from 252 to 927.
Mr Fletcher said 27 non-government institutions have now joined the Scheme including:
- The first parts of the Anglican Church, (comprising seven Dioceses, three Anglicare organisations and nine other institutions representing several Anglican Schools)
- Australian Catholic Redress Limited (representing 34 out of 35 Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses within Australia)
- Seven Catholic Religious Orders.
“But more is required. The Australian Government expects all institutions in which sexual abuse of children has occurred to be accountable for that abuse and join the National Redress Scheme,” Mr Fletcher said.
“It is important to note that while this published list covers institutions named by the Royal Commission, there are likely to be other institutions which were not named where abuse occurred - and the Government also expects these institutions to join the Scheme.”
While survivors can make an application for redress at any time, the relevant institution must have joined the Scheme for their application to be processed.
The National Redress Scheme was established following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Under the Scheme, survivors of institutional child sexual abuse can receive access to counselling services, a direct personal response from the responsible institution for people who want it, and a redress payment.
For more information, including a searchable list of institutions that have joined the Scheme and institutions that have not, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions