Fourth anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Tomorrow (Saturday 22 October) marks the fourth anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth commemorated the occasion at an event today with survivor support workers at Relationships Australia in Adelaide.

The National Apology was a result of the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse initiated by former Prime Minister, the Honourable Julia Gillard.

More than 17,000 survivors came forward in response to the Royal Commission and nearly 8,000 of them recounted their abuse in private sessions.

The apology that followed honoured the courage of survivors and advocates who spoke out to expose abuse in institutions, often at great personal cost.

“Four years ago, the Australian Government and Parliament unreservedly apologised to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse,” Minister Rishworth said.

“No apology can ever take away the trauma and pain, but all levels of Government are committed to working towards repairing our communities and giving true and practical meaning to this apology.” 

There are now over 600 non-government organisations from charities to community groups, churches, schools and universities that have signed up to the Redress Scheme which was established following the Royal Commission.

In total there are more than 70,000 sites participating in the Scheme. To date, the Redress Scheme has received over 20,000 applications with the Scheme delivering close to 11,000 outcomes.

The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse’s Draft Five Year Strategy was also open for further public consultation at today’s event.

The public consultation, which will be open until 13 January 2023, will allow everyone to have a say on the priority work of the National Centre over the next five years and shape the vision for longer-term generational change.

The National Centre’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dr Leanne Beagley, will oversee its vital work.

Dr Beagley comes to the National Centre with more than 30 years’ experience in health, mental health, community service delivery, and government policy roles, most recently as the CEO of Mental Health Australia.