Recent progress and institutions that joined the National Redress Scheme

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This newsletter gives an update on the National Redress Scheme, including recent progress and  institutions that joined.

For more information or to find support services, go to the National Redress Scheme website or call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays.

Application progress

As of 1 November 2019, the National Redress Scheme:

  • had received over 5,290 applications
  • made around 716 decisions — including 708 payments, totalling over
    $56.9 million
  • made over 98 offers of redress, and applicants have six months to consider their offer of redress
  • was processing over 3,470 applications, with 604 applications on hold because one or more institution named in the application had not yet joined and about 309 applications requiring additional information from the applicant.

As of 1 November, the average payment was $80,466.

In July, August and September of this year more people received redress than in the first year of the Scheme.

From 1 July 2019 to 1 November 2019, 477 applications were finalised, resulting in 469 payments.

Participating institutions update

All institutions where child sexual abuse has occurred are encouraged to sign up to the Scheme as soon as possible.
As of 1 November, there were 67 non-government institutions participating in the National Redress Scheme, covering over 41,900 individual sites, such as churches, schools, charities, community groups and clubs.
In October, a number of new institutions, organisations and religious orders completed the necessary steps to join the Scheme. They are now participating in the redress scheme.

The following institutions have completed the steps to join the Scheme:

  • Berry Street Victoria (Vic)
  • Confraternity of Christ the Priest (NSW, Qld and Vic)
  • Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God (NSW, Qld and Vic)
  • Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, Vic and WA)
  • SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited (NSW)
  • Sisters of the Good Samaritan (ACT, NSW, NT, Qld, SA, Vic and WA)

The additions to the Anglican Church of Australia participating group were:

  • Anglican Property Trust Diocese of Bathurst (NSW)
  • Anglicare WA (WA)

The addition to the Baptist Churches of Victoria participating group was North Balwyn Baptist Church.

The additions to the Baptist Churches of Western Australia (WA) participating group was:

  • Bethel Christian School Albany
  • Emmanuel Christian Community School Incorporated
  • Goldfields Baptist College Incorporated
  • Kojonup Baptist Church
  • The Lake Joondalup Baptist College Incorporated

 The Queensland Government has agreed to be a Funder of Last Resort for:

  • Beemar Yumba Maud Phillips Memorial Children’s Shelter (Qld)
  • Beulah Homes (Qld)
  • OPAL House (Qld)
  • OPAL Joyce Wilding Home (Qld)

For more information about the sites covered by these institutions and a full list of institutions that have joined, go to the Scheme’s website.

The website also includes a map where you can find institutions that have joined in your state or territory.

Where do I get support?

Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme, provide emotional support and guide people through the application process. A list of support services is available on the website.
If you need immediate assistance from a counsellor, please contact:

Find out more


To find out more about the National Redress Scheme call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8amto 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays.

You can also go to the website: www.nationalredress.gov.au

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Understanding your legal rights under the National Redress Scheme

This newsletter provides you with information about your legal options in regards to the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme).

For more information or to find support services, visit the http://nationalredress.gov.au/ or call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday (local time) excluding public holidays.

Understanding your legal rights under the National Redress Scheme

You are not required to use a lawyer to apply for redress. However, you may wish to seek legal advice to understand if redress if the best option for you and the impact it may have on other legal rights.

If you want to access legal support, the Scheme offers free legal advice through knowmore or call 1800 605 762 (Free call).

You can also choose to use a private lawyer. This will be at your own cost. Below are some questions you may have regarding the use of lawyers and the Scheme. 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Am I required to seek legal advice?

No. However, you may wish to seek legal advice as this may help you through the process and allow you to completely understand your legal rights.

Can I get free legal advice?

Yes. The Scheme provides free legal support services through ‘knowmore’.

What can knowmore provide?

knowmore is available for free to all people thinking about applying to the Scheme.

knowmore can provide you with:

  • legal support through the application process,
  • legal advice on your options, including the availability of other forms of action or redress aside from the Scheme,
  • assistance understanding the legal effects of accepting an offer of redress,
  • advice on the effect of confidentiality agreements in past proceedings,
  • take complaints about the Scheme,
  • support obtaining records,
  • linking with specialist counselling, support services and victims’ support groups, and
  • any other legal support needs, through providing information and referral support.

 

What is knowmore?

knowmore is a legal service funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Attorney-General’s Department.

knowmore delivers free services nationally from its three offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney with regular visits to other States and Territories. These services are delivered through its multidisciplinary team of lawyers, social workers and counsellors.

knowmore has a proven track record of providing legal support services to survivors of child sexual abuse. It has the infrastructure and expertise deliver national, quality and trauma‑informed legal services.
 

Do I have to use knowmore?

No. You are not required to seek legal advice to apply to the Scheme. You can also use a private lawyer. This may be at your own cost.
 

Should I seek legal advice?

You may wish to seek legal advice, with the Scheme offering free advice through knowmore. While the Scheme is designed to be non-legalistic, some people may need help to complete their application to ensure that all the necessary information has been included. knowmore can help with this.

For many people making an application for redress will be the right thing to do. However, not everyone is eligible for redress. Some people may also want to consider if civil litigation is a better option for them.

If you have received redress under other schemes or through past actions or claims you can still apply to this Scheme; however, prior payments may be taken into account.

If you accept an offer of redress you must sign a release document. By signing this release, you will not be able to continue or to commence any civil or common law proceedings against the responsible institution or its officials. This is an important right to give up. knowmore can give you advice about the release and the legal options that you might have apart from redress.
 

Where do I get support?

Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme, provide emotional support and guide people through the application process. A list of support services is available on the website.

Those who need immediate emotional support can contact:
·         Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
·        
 Mensline 1300 78 99 78
·        
 Lifeline 13 11 14
·        
 1800 Respect 1800 737 732
·        
 Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
·         In an emergency call Triple Zero (000)

 

Find out more

To find out more, you can call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays. You can also visit the website the National Redress Scheme website.


RETRIEVED eMail & https://mailchi.mp/4da97a10e5de/understanding-your-legal-rights-under-the-national-redress-scheme?e=5ccca9918d

Latest institutions to join the National Redress Scheme

Latest institutions to join the National Redress SchemeThis newsletter includes an update on the latest institutions to join the National Redress Scheme.
For more information or to find support services, go to the National Redress Scheme website or call 1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays.
 

Institution update

On 29 March 2019, the National Redress Scheme (Scheme) added over 7,000 site records to the National Redress Scheme search database. This is the largest upload to the Scheme website to date.
The following institutions have undertaken the steps to join, they are:
·         Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
·         Baptist Care NSW & ACT
·         Baptist Care SA
·         Baptist Care WA
·         Baptist Churches of New South Wales & ACT
·         Baptist Churches of Victoria
·         Sisters of Mercy Parramatta
·         Scouts Queensland

The fourth group of Anglican organisations have joined represented by Anglican Representative Limited, they are:

·         Anglican Diocese Bunbury
·         Anglican Diocese of Gippsland
·         Anglican Diocese of Grafton
·         Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
·         Anglican Diocese of Newcastle
·         Anglican Diocese of North Queensland
·         Anglican Diocese of Sydney
·         Anglican Diocese of Tasmania
·         Anglican Diocese of Willochra
·         Anglican Schools Corporation
·         Anglicare N.T. Ltd
·         Anglicare SA Ltd
·         Brotherhood of St Laurence
·         Church Missionary Society – Australia Limited
·         Church Missionary Society – NSW and ACT Limited
·         Church Missionary Society Victoria Incorporated
·         Mentone Grammar School
·         St Columba Anglican School Council
·         St Michael’s Collegiate School
·         The Council of Macarthur Anglican School, ATF Macarthur School
·         The Council of Tara Anglican School for Girls
·         The Hutchins School

For more information about which sites are covered by these institutions, go to the Scheme’s website. There is also a full list of institutions that have joined the Scheme at: www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions/joined-scheme.

An interactive map is also now available on this website for users to choose a state or territory from the map, to find out what institutions have joined in your area.
 

Where do I get support?

Redress Support Services are available to help people understand the Scheme, provide emotional support and guide people through the application process. A list of support services is available on the website.

Those who need immediate emotional support can contact:

·         Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
·         Lifeline 13 11 14
·         1800 Respect 1800 737 732
·         Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
·         Mensline 1300 78 99 78
·         In an emergency call Triple Zero (000)
 

Find out more

To find out more, you can call the National Redress Scheme on 1800 737 377Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays. You can also visit the website at www.nationalredress.gov.au.

Retrieved from eMail sent on 1 April 2019.

Seek Support from outside the circle!

As frightening as it may be, it’s becoming highly publicised that ‘support is available from the … church/club/school/Institution‘. BEWARE: These may be another example of ‘bight the hand that feeds you‘. Also, that numerous wrongdoers of CSA were often involved as ‘Counsellor’, ‘Supporter’, ‘Family-liaison’ & so forth.

It has been found that experts in the fields of CSA Counselling+Support are available on both the CARC, knowmore & NationalRedressScheme sites. Often, these discussions & meetings are a much needed step in a victim’s recovery.

Redress: the setting right of that which is morally wrong

August 9, 2018. Anne

Through the Redress Scheme, those who have been sexually abused in Australian institutions now have the opportunity to obtain financial compensation, counselling and a personal apology for the horror they endured. But don’t for one minute think it will be an easy process.

On 14 September 2015 the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its Redress and Civil Litigation Report. After receiving submissions from more than 250 individuals and institutions, the 589-page report made 99 recommendations. There was an enormous financial cost to the Australian public for the Royal Commission so we should listen to what the Royal Commission had to say.

Here are some of the most significant recommendations regarding the Redress Scheme and what’s happened so far:

A national redress scheme for the estimated 60,000 likely claimants be established and commence accepting applications from survivors no later than 1 July 2017.

The Redress Scheme started on 1 July 2018, just a year late.  While everyone can start the application process, my understanding is that some State legislation needs to catch up. Applications from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia can be received but they can’t yet be assessed.

The major perpetrators of institutional child sexual abuse (the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting churches, Salvation Army, Scouts and YMCA) have agreed to join the scheme.  However, the current lack of legislation in some States creates a loophole, so let’s hope those non-government institutions don’t use it to opt out.

The redress scheme to be independent of the offending institutions.

The applications for redress will be assessed by Independent Decision Makers, but we don’t know who they are. The Redress Scheme assures applicants that the Independent Decision Makers have no connection with participating institutions.  Does this mean there will be no Catholic, Anglican or Uniting Church parishioners?  No ex or current members of the Salvation Army, Scouts or the YMCA?  How can the assessment process be transparent if the Independent Decision Makers are not named?

Appropriate redress for survivors would include a financial payment up to $200,000.

The payment through the National Redress Scheme has been reduced to a maximum of $150,000.

$150,000 is a paltry amount for the impact of child sexual abuse on your life.  It would go nowhere near compensating Ms Forgotten Australian for her lack of ability to sustain full-time employment throughout her life, without taking into account her suffering.  The average redress payment is expected to be $76,000 and many will get less than that.

Applicants may receive a greater payout if they pursue compensation through the court process but the burden of proof will be greater in the court system than through the Redress Scheme.  However, the burden of engaging in the court process is likely to be more adversarial and stressful than the Redress Scheme. It’s challenging for survivors to provide the detailed particulars (time, date, location etc) often required for the court process, particularly if the child sexual abuse occurred many years ago and occurred multiple times.

The Redress Scheme is of significant benefit for the perpetrating institutions as payouts are likely to be less than through the legal process, and they won’t be tied up and financing legal processes for years.

A person should be eligible to apply to a redress scheme for redress if he or she was sexually abused as a child in an institutional context and the sexual abuse occurred, or the first incidence of the sexual abuse occurred, before the cut-off date.

That is unless you’re in prison.  If you are currently incarcerated you cant apply, you can do so when you’ve been released. If you’re out of gaol, but you’ve served more than a 5-year term then probably no redress for you, unless you are able to prove how rehabilitated you are.

Now I don’t want to get into an argument about prisoners getting money but here’s what infuriates me. The Royal Commission visited 60 prisons to take statements from prisoners who had been sexually abused in institutions.  They did this because there is such a clear understanding that child sexual abuse derails peoples lives to such an extent they are over-represented in the prison system.

I provided counselling to prisoners who had attended private sessions with the Royal Commission.  Their accounts of the sadistic child sexual abuse perpetrated against them were horrendous.  For some, the Royal Commission was the first time they had disclosed the abuse and the process of disclosing was traumatic.

Of the, 6,875 survivors and/or their family and friends who attended private sessions between May 2013 and May 2017 to share their experiences of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions, 713 (10.4 per cent) were in prison at the time of their private session.

On average, survivors in prison were aged 11.3 years when they were first sexually abused in an institutional context, though many said they experienced physical and sexual abuse prior to this, often within the family. The majority were sexually abused on multiple occasions (86.7 per cent). Most said they were sexually abused by a single person (53.7 per cent), and almost three-quarters for a duration of one year or less (71.5 per cent).

Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: Final Report – Private Sessions

So the Redress Scheme seems to be saying to prisoners “thanks for telling us what happened to you, we know that it stuffed your life up, but too bad, no Redress for you or your family”.  Surely prisoners could apply and, if successful, any payout placed in trust.

Oh… and if you’re not an Australian citizen or permanent resident you also can’t apply.  So too bad if you came to Australia, went to school here, got sexually abused as a child at school and then went home!  No redress for you either.

A redress scheme should rely primarily on completion of a written application form.

Sounds easy, but filling out that 44-page document is complex.  Some survivors believed that their statement to the Royal Commission would have been sufficient as an application. It’s agonising to document a detailed account of child sexual abuse and then send it off to be assessed, by an unknown party. Once again survivors are placed in the role of having to prove what happened to them.

There are supports available to help people with the application process.  You can access them here: Redress Support Services.  I would encourage anyone completing the application to be supported by family, friends and/or the support services offered.

Counselling and psychological care should be supported through redress in accordance with the following principles:

  • Counselling and psychological care should be available throughout a survivor’s life.
  • Counselling and psychological care should be available on an episodic basis.
  • Survivors should be allowed flexibility and choice in relation to counselling and psychological care.
  • There should be no fixed limits on the counselling and psychological care provided to a survivor.
  • Without limiting survivor choice, counselling and psychological care should be provided by practitioners with appropriate capabilities to work with clients with complex trauma.
  • Treating practitioners should be required to conduct ongoing assessment and review to ensure treatment is necessary and effective. If those who fund counselling and psychological care through redress have concerns about services provided by a particular practitioner, they should negotiate a process of external review with that practitioner and the survivor. Any process of assessment and review should be designed to ensure it causes no harm to the survivor.
  • Counselling and psychological care should be provided to a survivor’s family members if necessary for the survivor’s treatment.

New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory have free counselling services as part of the redress offer.  Counselling services in Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia have not yet been finalised. Applicants living where States are not offering free counselling services will receive a payment of $5,000 to cover counselling.  That’s about 25 sessions throughout a lifetime.  That may not be sufficient to address complex trauma.

Some final thoughts….

We now have a situation where some child abuse survivors may feel abandoned by the Redress Scheme.  If you were in an institution and were viciously beaten and neglected, but not sexually abused you are now “unlucky” because you can’t access the Redress Scheme. The Royal Commission didn’t just uncover child sexual abuse, it also uncovered systemic physical and emotional abuse and neglect in institutions and yet these non sexually abused survivors have no access to the Redress Scheme.

I’m not sure the Redress Scheme sets right that which is morally wrong.

What are your thoughts regarding the Redress Scheme?

https://notforgotten.tv/2018/08/09/redress-the-setting-right-of-that-which-is-morally-wrong/

Light at the end of the tunnel

Of great interest is the growth in visits of this ‘RoyalCommBBC.blog’! As more acceptance, coping & awareness of these HIDDEN patterns becomes available – there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Many Survivours are delayed in speaking about their past, which Counsellors-Psychologists are available to help you out. From the ChildAbuseRoyalCommission & NationalRedressScheme sites, the following details are provided. If you feel like you’d like to talk with someone: BlueKnot (ASCA) have provided us extreme help on 1300 657 380. Finding someone you find comfortable, may take some time, yet these are a great place to start.

Undeniable: The advocates and agitators who fought for justice

As the royal commission into child abuse prepares to report back to government this week, we highlight the courageous individuals who took on powerful institutions to help expose a national shame.

By Paul Kennedy

Updated 12 Dec 2017, 9:47pm

Chrissie Foster, a tireless advocate for survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.

PHOTO: Chrissie Foster became a tireless advocate for survivors after her daughters were abused. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Chrissie Foster: A family’s fight

Suburban Melbourne parents Chrissie and Anthony Foster learned in the 1990s that two of their daughters, Emma and Katie, were raped by their local priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Emma began harming herself after the trauma forced upon her. Teenage Katie got drunk to avoid her haunting memories and was hit by a car, leaving her permanently disabled.

So began Chrissie and Anthony’s harrowing, tireless fight for justice.

After the priest was sentenced to jail, the church — through its Melbourne Response scheme — offered Emma a $50,000 payment that would require her to sign away future legal rights. The Fosters thought this grossly unfair, sued the church and eventually settled for a sum many times larger than the initial offer.

In 2008, Emma died of an overdose.

The Fosters became public figures and challenged the church’s attitudes and legal strategies.

In 2010, Chrissie published her family story in a book, Hell on the Way to Heaven.

A year later, the Victorian Government launched a parliamentary inquiry into the way religious and other institutions handled cases of child sexual abuse. The Fosters gave damning evidence against the church hierarchy.

A national campaign then led the Gillard government to announce the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Foster story was at the forefront of the royal commission’s public hearing into the Melbourne Response. Chrissie gave evidence, supported by Anthony on the stand.

In 2017, Anthony died after collapsing in a car park. He was given a state funeral. Speakers included the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan.

Despite her grief, Chrissie is dedicated to continue fighting injustice so survivors and their families may receive proper compensation through redress and common law. She is also a devoted and passionate advocate for better child protection.

Denis Ryan: A country policeman ignored

It was 1956 and Denis Ryan was a young policeman on patrol in St Kilda. One night, he and his partner came across a drunken priest caught pants-down in a car with prostitutes.

The clergyman was taken into custody but was later released by another policeman.

Denis was told, “You don’t charge priests”. He also learned there were members of Victoria Police who actively protected the church from scandal.

Denis Ryan stares through his glasses, while sitting on a brown couch.

PHOTO: Denis Ryan’s career as a police officer was ruined by the so-called “Catholic Mafia” in Victoria Police. (ABC RN: Jeremy Story Carter)

Years later, Denis was transferred to the regional Victorian city of Mildura, where he came across the same priest he had arrested in St Kilda.

The priest was Monsignor John Day, a violent and sadistic man. A teacher and a nun told the policeman that Monsignor Day was committing crimes against children.

Denis investigated and compiled a list of victims; he sought to have the priest charged, but was prevented by senior police, including his immediate superior, Sergeant Jim Barritt — who was a close friend of Monsignor Day.

Denis wrote to the Bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, but received no help. Bishop Mulkearns told him that Sergeant Barritt had already cleared Monsignor Day of any allegations.

The church and police officials’ protection of Monsignor Day did two things: it was forced Denis out of the job he loved, and gave a green light to other paedophile priests in the vast Ballarat Diocese.

Denis, who still lives in Mildura, gave evidence to the royal commission and was supported by former Victoria Police chief commissioner Mick Miller.

The force officially apologised to him in 2016, but he has still not been properly compensated for his ruined career.

In his final speech last month before handing down recommendations, Justice McClellan explained how police in Victoria and NSW actively protected church officials, when their highest priority should have been protecting children.

Paul Tatchell: A boy who fought back

After Monsignor Day was allowed to go free, criminal clergy in the Ballarat Diocese became emboldened.

St Alipius Primary School was ruled by four paedophiles, all working there at the same time. They included the notorious Gerald Ridsdale, and a violent sex offender called Brother Ted Dowlan, who ran one of the boarding houses at St Patrick’s College. He later changed his name to Ted Bales.

Br Dowlan, whose bedroom was attached to the Year 7 students’ dormitory, beat and raped children at will.

Paul Tatchell, who was abused by Brother Ted Dowlan as a boy at school in Ballarat.

PHOTO: Paul Tatchell was expelled from school after reporting his abuse to his headmaster. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

One night, he raped a boy called Paul Tatchell, who fought back. After being attacked in Br Dowlan’s room, Paul began punching the clergyman.

Leaving the Brother crying on the floor, Paul ran from the room and tried to call his parents for help, but the school’s headmaster and other staff locked him in a closet until morning.

Paul was then expelled. The church leadership did not report Br Dowlan to police. He remained a free man until Paul and other victims came forward to make police statements in the early 1990s.

He watched from the back of a courtroom as the law finally punished his attacker.

Paul gave evidence at the royal commission. So did the school headmaster, Brother Paul Nangle, who claimed he never knew Br Dowlan was a sex offender.

But the evidence was overwhelming. Paul went into the army, and then into business. He now owns a newspaper, and was recently elected Mayor of Moorabool Shire, east of Ballarat, for the third time.

He does not consider himself a “victim” and says he does not suffer the same type of post-traumatic stress as other former boarders — perhaps because he punched back, and could not be controlled like others.

As part of his interview for the ABC documentary Undeniable, Paul went back to the room where he was raped for the first time.

He will never return to that building.

Joanne McCarthy: Uncovering devastating secrets

In 2006, Newcastle Herald reporter Joanne McCarthy received a phone call that set her on a path to becoming one of Australia’s finest investigative journalists.

The voice at the other end of the line asked her why a priest who had been convicted of child sexual assault was not being written about in the newspaper.

Joanne looked into it, and found the tip-off to be accurate, but on questioning church authorities, she immediately detected they were lying.

Newcastle Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy

PHOTO: Joanne McCarthy won Australian journalism’s highest honour for her coverage. (ABC: Undeniable)

For children, the Newcastle-Maitland region had been a dangerous place for decades. The cover-up of crimes was effective and unrelenting.

But Joanne’s work began unravelling the truth. She would go on to write more than a thousand stories on clergy sex abuse and institutional cover-ups within both the Catholic and Anglican churches.

In 2012, John Pirona, a fireman and victim of clergy sex abuse, disappeared after leaving a note that read “too much pain”. Joanne and the Herald covered the story and later reported on John’s death by suicide.

On the night of John’s funeral, Joanne decided enough was enough and wrote an editorial calling for a royal commission.

Her work, along with that of courageous Lateline journalist Suzanne Smith, led to senior NSW detective Peter Fox deciding to speak out on the issue.

Soon after, then-prime minister Julia Gillard ordered the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

In the final moments of her prime ministership, she wrote a letter of endorsement for Joanne’s work in changing Australia forever.

Joanne was awarded Australian journalism’s highest honour, the Gold Walkley.

The reporter who took that phone call 11 years ago is still investigating and writing. She believes there is much work to do in delivering justice to survivors and better protection to children in all states and territories.

Rob Walsh: ‘No more suicides’

The royal commission would not have been possible without the revelations in Ballarat.

In the years preceding the inquiry, Rob Walsh was one of the survivors who helped publicise the consequences of abuse, by working with police to expose a tragically nigh number of suicides in the city.

While dealing with his own acute trauma, he supported others — and still is.

Rob Walsh fought back against an abusive Catholic priest when he was a boy in Ballarat.

PHOTO: Rob Walsh says it’s a battle for many survivors to make it through each day. (ABC: Undeniable)

Rob says the Catholic Church and other institutions should pay struggling victims’ ongoing medical costs so they can survive beyond the royal commission.

He says cash payouts are not enough.

“I firmly believe that they should be given rights to disability pensions,” he says. “They would be far better off. People think these guys are after millions and millions of dollars. They’re not.”

Ballarat survivors have endured many days of stressful royal commission public hearings. Some even travelled to Rome for a special sitting.

Listening to stories of abuse and cover-up from dozens of witnesses, including the negligent Bishop Mulkearns and the jailed Ridsdale, caused more suffering through anxiety.

It’s been hard, if we’re talking about the burden. I think the burden is heavier now because we now know more about the abuse, and the cover-up,” Rob says.

According to Rob, the Catholic Church should be forced to help victims of sexually abusive clergy in practical ways.

Exposing a national shame

The key moments that led to one of Australia’s most shocking inquiries.

“I’d like to see this gold card introduced. I’d like to see these victims cared for. And I think they’ve earned the right to be cared for. They’ve earned the respect to be cared for.

“It is a daily battle — I’m not the only victim who would say that. The rent’s still got to be paid. We’ve all got those bills, the gas and electricity bills.”

Survivors’ lawyer Judy Courtin says the trauma is so difficult to deal with on its own, but “to have to deal with the day to day pressures of life makes it a hundred times worse”.

“It’s those day to day responsibilities of bills, health cover, and so on. Not waiting in queues or waiting for months to see a doctor,” she says.

Rob believes the church should use its resources — hospitals and property — to provide health care and accommodation for those in desperate need.

“I think it’d be the Australian thing to do. No more suicides.”

Ken Smith and Ann Barker: The political will

From different sides of politics, Victorian politicians Ken Smith and Ann Barker both sought justice for survivors.

Ken was a member of the Kennett government when he chaired a parliamentary committee that examined child sex offenders.

His work led him to the most forensic examination of clergy sex abuse within the Catholic Church ever carried out by Australian politicians.

Victorian MP Ken Smith stands in State Parliament.

PHOTO: Ken Smith says some colleagues criticised him for speaking out against the church. (ABC: Undeniable)

Harsh findings were made against the church hierarchy, and the evidence moved him so much he wrote in his report, “My life has been deeply marked by the experiences of the past 12 months”. 

The horror stories relayed by victims and investigators cry out for an emotional response to the problem.

Ken was shocked and dismayed when only a few of his committee’s 130 recommendations were acted upon.

He says some of his colleagues attacked him verbally for speaking ill of senior church official Monsignor Gerald Cudmore.

Action was not taken against the church. Instead, the Victorian government allowed the church hierarchy to establish its own scheme for paying out survivors.

Former premier Jeff Kennett denies the church influenced his decision, saying he thought it was the best thing to do at the time.

Subsequent governments have refused to override or intervene in the Melbourne Response, despite negative findings from several inquires.

Ken has carried the disappointment of that 1995 experience with him for his entire career.

Former Victorian MP Ann Barker with her husband Jim.

PHOTO: Ann Barker, pictured with her husband Jim, visited Ireland to see how it investigated widespread child abuse. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

Labor member for Oakleigh Ann Barker was the first to call for a royal commission in 2012, after travelling to Ireland to learn about its state inquiries.

The Foster family’s story motivated her to see what could be done for victims.

She returned to Australia convinced the nation needed to wrest control of providing justice and child protection from the institutions responsible for the abuse.

Ann praised the work of Justice McClellan and the other commissioners for the way Australia’s inquiry was conducted.

Peter Fox: A policeman’s defining TV interview

An interview with NSW detective Peter Fox by journalist Tony Jones on the ABC’s Lateline program was both powerful and transformative.

In November 2012, Peter put his job on the line to publicly express concerns about child sex crimes and cover-ups within the Catholic Church.

Peter Fox, a former NSW policeman who worked to expose sexual abuse in the Newcastle area

PHOTO: Peter Fox sacrificed his career to help reveal the extent of the sexual abuse around Newcastle. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

He also made allegations against NSW Police.

A subsequent NSW Special Commission of Inquiry found senior church officials withheld evidence from police.

The inquiry did not find evidence of a conspiracy by police to stall investigations and said Peter had lost objectivity in investigating the church.

But Peter’s courageous appearance motivated the Australian public to start talking about the need for a royal commission, which prime minister Gillard soon ordered.

Peter had been investigating paedophile priests for many years.

He built strong relationships with victims and provided them great comfort.

After acting as whistleblower, his position in NSW Police was untenable; he sacrificed his beloved career to reveal critical details of abuse and institutional interference in the Newcastle-Maitland region.

Before and after the interview, Lateline played a leading role in forcing Australia’s largest national inquiry into child sexual abuse.

For many years, reporter Suzanne Smith led the Lateline investigations.

“We focused very much on the leadership of the church. By elevating their significance on Lateline, we gave the stories a national focus. It also led to many victims, in other states, coming forward,” Suzanne says.

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume. 10:3020:56VIDEO: Peter Fox speaks to Lateline about the cover up of sexual abuse(Lateline)

Former executive producer John Bruce says the interview with Peter was the tipping point.

“While there were subsequent attempts to undermine the value of Inspector Fox’s interview, many in the Newcastle and broader Australian community regarded him as a hero for triggering the royal commission,” he says.

In turn, Peter praised the media for its role in bringing about the inquiry.

Over decades, journalists and editors from almost all Australian television networks, news radio programs, major and regional newspapers, as well as online media, have chipped away at institutional denials and evasion.

Without the work of the press, the dark secrets of some churches, governments, charities, schools and other organisations would have remained forever untold.

John Ellis: A survivor finally heard

John Ellis was a key witness in one of the most dramatic royal commission public hearings.

The lawyer says the nation’s largest inquiry into child abuse has made Australia a better place.

“The way that they’ve gone about it has answered every challenge,” he says.

John Ellis.

PHOTO: John Ellis says the Catholic Church still has no uniform approach to survivors. (ABC News: Danielle Bonica)

“The selection of commissioners themselves has been inspired. How they’ve dealt with the people … in private sessions, and what they’ve given to those people, is priceless.

“They treat the survivors who are coming to them as dignitaries.”

The royal commission based its protocols for welcoming survivors on a diplomatic services model.

Abused by a Catholic priest as a boy, John famously sued the church for common law damages in 2002.

The Catholic Church’s lawyers were instructed to “vigorously” defend the Church, and defeated his claim in a High Court decision five years later.Sorry, this video has expiredVIDEO: John Ellis on what the child abuse royal commission means to him(ABC News)

The royal commission heard evidence from John, church officials and lawyers. It gave all an insight into the tactics of the church’s legal team.

At the end of the hearing, Cardinal George Pell conceded the church dealt with John unfairly from “a Christian point of view”. The cardinal later issued the survivor an apology.

Looking back at his daunting role in the inquiry, John says, “I had the sense, really, as soon as the royal commission was announced that this was going to be a momentous time in our country”.

“What I didn’t realise was how important it would be for me personally as an individual to finally be listened to the first time. 

And to be able to stand up to an institution like the church, I can’t put into words what that’s meant for me.

John and his wife Nicola, also a lawyer, represent many survivors seeking redress for the crimes committed against them.

In 2014, he was awarded the Australian Lawyers Alliance annual Civil Justice Award for “unwavering diligence, passion, vision and resilience”.

He says the Catholic Church still has no uniform approach to survivors seeking justice.

“There are parts of the Catholic Church who have been integral in working towards collaborative processes that we’ve developed,” John says.

“And there have been parts of the Catholic Church who have impeded that and sought to destroy it and break it down. I think I’ll reserve judgement on where that stands on balance.

“I think in a lot of ways it remains to be seen, and particularly after the spotlight of the royal commission is off, the church as a whole … which way it will go with that.”

He doubts the Commonwealth Government’s national redress scheme will achieve all its aims.

“I think it’s a good thing and a necessary thing. And it’s an essential part of the whole response that there be a safety net for the thousands and thousands of people who otherwise would have no avenue to redress, and would have no institution to approach for what had happened to them.

“But as a substitute for proper and effective responses from the institutions, I don’t think that that’s the answer.”

Watch Undeniable on iview.

Topics: community-and-societychild-abusecatholic,royal-commissionsballarat-3350newcastle-2300,melbourne-3000canberra-2600nswvicact

First posted 12 Dec 2017, 4:39am

Delays in Institutions run similar to Facebook tactics

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis” is what a New York Times Article is titled, followed by the overplayed icon photograph:

Facebook has gone on the attack as one scandal after another — Russian meddling, data sharing, hate speech — has led to a congressional and consumer backlash.CreditCreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/14/technology/facebook-data-russia-election-racism.html

Having paid significant attention to moments that FB-Facebook has appeared on Australia’s ABC, I recognised similarities between one monolith & that of church Institutions in Australia. National Redress Scheme is applicable to any Child Abuse Survivour, yet hearing of deaths before Compensation &/or Redress is made seems to reignite the fire.

The long, painful wait for abuse survivors to see redress

Please read through the linked Article above: “The long, painful wait …” to read information such as the following:

“These figures confirm what we have known; there is huge inequity between the Catholic Church’s wealth and their responses to survivors,” said Helen Last, chief executive of the In Good Faith Foundation, which supports abuse survivors.

“The 600 survivors registered for our foundation’s services continue to experience minimal compensation and lack of comprehensive care in relation to their church abuses. They say their needs are the lowest of church priorities.”

Healy said the church’s meeting the claims of survivors whose complaints of abuse were upheld was “amongst its highest priorities”. He said that since that report the church had paid an extra $17.2 million to survivors.

The Age’s investigation also calls into question the privileges the church enjoys, including exemptions from nearly all forms of taxation and billions of dollars in government funding each year to run services – $7.9 billion for its Australian schools alone in 2015.

It involved obtaining property valuations from 36 Victorian councils, including most of the Melbourne metropolitan area, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, many under freedom of information.

It identified more than 1860 church-owned properties with “capital improved value” (land plus buildings) of just under $7 billion.

SOURCES: https://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2018/catholic-inc-what-the-church-is-really-worth/

https://newviralstory.com/the-long-painful-wait-for-abuse-survivors-to-see-redress/

The Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse deserve compensation before they die

Robert Llewelyn-Jones

Adult survivors of child sexual abuse are receiving rough justice from offending institutions such as churches. At the same time that many churches are celebrating the innocence of childhood this Christmas, they are denying justice to survivors who were innocent children when their lives were damaged and, in some cases destroyed, by institutional sexual abuse.

The national redress scheme for institutional sexual abuse survivors started on 1 July. Some 2,000 people have made applications, but only 20 survivors (1% of the 2,000) have received any form of redress. Many of the applications received relate to institutions that have yet to come on board with the scheme. Most Catholic church dioceses and archdioceses have joined the scheme, but at least 150 Catholic orders have yet to come on board. The Uniting church has yet to join the scheme and the Anglican church has only partly done so. Neither the Catholic or Uniting churches have committed to a timeframe for fully joining the scheme. The majority of Anglican church entities should join the scheme by the middle of 2019.

The survivors who are applying for redress were subjected to institutional betrayal which included facilitating child sexual assaults; punishing those who made complaints about sexual abuse; using obfuscation, denial and hard line legal tactics to hinder efforts to obtain justice as well as moving perpetrators from one institution to another where they were free to re-offend. These betrayals compounded the damage caused by the original sexual assaults. For many, the capacity to form trusting relationships was permanently damaged. This damage runs so deep that some survivors are unable to form intimate relationships or show affection. Frequently survivors use drugs and alcohol to numb their pain and if this fails, commit suicide. Parents, children and loved ones who have to cope with the heartbreak of survivors’ blighted lives are secondary victims as the damage caused by institutional betrayal spans across several generations.

SOURCE: https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/20/the-survivors-of-child-sexual-abuse-deserve-compensation-before-they-die?CMP=share_btn_tw&__twitter_impression=true