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Peter Kelso News
April 6, 2021
Jehovah’s Witnesses say they will join the National Redress Scheme due to the new “rules”
It was the threat of financial penalties that triggered the Jehovah’s Witnesses to join the National Redress Scheme – a sour taste for survivors of sexual abuse and lawyers alike.
In July 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison named and shamed the institutions that had failed to sign up to the National Redress Scheme before the original deadline of June 30th.
Senator Anne Ruston set a new deadline of December 31st 2020. If they missed the deadline this time, the institutions would not be eligible for future Commonwealth grants, their charitable status would be revoked and they would be stripped of their tax exemptions.
But in a statement to AAP, the Jehovah’s Witnesses said:
“Now that the law requires charities to join the scheme, Jehovah’s Witnesses will comply. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that it is their responsibility before God to respect and co-operate with the authorities.”
A spokesperson for Senator Anne Ruston has urged the Jehovah’s Witnesses to get in contact with the Department of Social Services and make good on their commitment to the Scheme.
“We encourage them to make urgent contact with the Department of Social Services so they can make good on this commitment,” she said.
“It can take up to six months for institutions to complete the process of joining and the department would hope to work cooperatively and with haste to facilitate the Jehovah’s Witnesses joining as quickly as possible.
“It is disappointing survivors who have named the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been forced to have their application for redress on hold this long while the organisation has been unwilling to join.”
Image: Paralympics Australia
Paralympics Australia has decided to join the National Redress Scheme and support survivors of institutional abuse.
This comes as more and more sporting institutions join the scheme including Basketball Australia and Gymnastics Australia.
“We support the National Redress Scheme and are strongly committed to providing environments that are safe, supportive and fun for children and young people,” Paralympics Australia President Jock O’Callaghan said.
“We have zero tolerance for any form of behaviour that puts the well-being of children and young people at risk.”
The wheels were already in motion for positive change within Paralympics Australia.
In September 2020, Paralympics Australia, the Commonwealth Games and the Australian Olympic Committee – representing 53 sports combined – rolled out a new process so athletes have access to an independent assessment of complaints and allegations.
All Government funded sports are also required to have a Member Protection Policy (MPP) and Child Safeguarding Policy outlining the standard of behaviour required of athletes, coaches, officials and other support personnel.
Australian Olympic Committee Chief Executive Officer, Matt Carroll, says it is in the best interests of all sports to have an independent avenue for complaints about abuse, intimidation and other safeguarding issues.
“There’s no place for abuse in our sports, but the missing link has been the lack of access to an independent framework. We have started a process to develop a model that will remedy that. There’s a lot of detail to discuss,” Matt said.
In March 2021, Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Lynne Anderson said their values and expectations align with those of the National Redress Scheme.
“Any form of abuse is abhorrent – we acknowledge the catastrophic impact abuse has on the lives of those abused, and their families and friends.”
“Our organisation is strongly aligned to the values and expectations of the National Redress Scheme and we remain ready to work closely with the scheme to support any survivors that may come forward.”
Now that the Jehovah’s Witnesses will join the National Redress Scheme, there is only one institution left that is refusing to join: Kenja Communications.
The spiritual self-help group has invoked Attorney-General Christian Porter’s position on the historical rape allegation against him (which he denies) to support its position.
The group’s late founder, Ken Dyer, faced multiple sexual assault allegations. He was found guilty of one of the alleged assaults, but the conviction was overturned in the High Court.
When Dyer was accused of raping a woman 33 years ago, he claimed:
“There are circumstances where someone might absolutely believe something, but it might not be a reliable account. That is actually why we have a justice system. It is why we have courts and the presumption of innocence and burdens of proof.”
Dyer committed suicide in 2007 when new allegations arose. There were another 22 charges of child sexual abuse against two 12-year-old girls, but he was medically unfit to stand trial.
Now, Dyer’s widow Jan Hamilton runs the group. On their website, the group said that the same principles cited by the Attorney-General apply to the group’s decision not to join the National Redress Scheme.
“Anyone can contact the scheme and say they were abused as a child and without due process, in fact it appears without any real process, can receive up to $150,000 in compensation.”
“We are of the view that recent events including the Christian Porter case confirm the legitimacy and appropriateness of the position we have taken regarding not joining the National Redress Scheme.”
“In our respectful opinion, if it is proper for the Attorney-General to invoke the rule of law, it is also proper for us.”
Hamilton has also said in the past she believes the abuse did not take place – meaning survivors will be locked out of compensation through the National Redress Scheme.
“Whilst we agree with the objectives of compensating child sex abuse victims, it is not appropriate in our view where genuine claims do not exist.”
A number of former members – mostly women and children – have claimed the participants had to be fully naked for their one-one-one “energy conversion sessions” with Dyer.
A former member named Annette Stevens wrote about her experience in a 2012 article published via news.com.au.
“Sometimes we’d be processed naked in one-on-one sessions – Ken said it helped energy flow freely through the body. Once, when I woke from the fog of a naked processing session, Ken was lying on top of me with his trousers and underpants around his ankles.”
“But my Kenjan mind-training kicked in and I immediately dismissed the idea he’d acted inappropriately, reasoning I could trust Ken and, if he’d touched me, I’d remember it.”
The Catholic Church paid $276 million to victims of alleged sex abuse committed by priests in Australia over decades, an investigation says.
Critics say the system of payments is unfair and not all victims receive the same opportunities or compensation.
Since 2013, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been holding hearings on alleged Catholic Church sex abuse of children – mostly boys.
“Catholic Church authorities made total payments of [AU]$276.1 million [US$213million] in response to claims of child sexual abuse received between 1 January 1980 and 28 February 2015, including monetary compensation, treatment, legal and other costs,” the statement from the commission said on Thursday.
On average, sex abuse victims received AU$91,000 in compensation, it stated.
The Christian Brothers religious community “reported both the highest total payment and the largest number of total payments $48.5 million paid in relation to 763 payments at an average of approximately $64,000 per payment,” the document said.
The report added that the Jesuits “had the highest average total payment at an average of approximately $257,000 per payment (of those Catholic Church authorities who made at least 10 payments).”
Read analysis of Catholic Church Authorities’ data on claims of child abuse https://t.co/4AYWsYEytb
— CA Royal Commission (@CARoyalComm) February 15, 2017
“Even though the church has paid $270 million and it took a long time to get its act together to do that, there’s no doubt the system of paying people and compensating them is best done independently of the church through a national redress scheme,”the Church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council chief executive, Francis Sullivan, told AAP.
Sullivan said that not all victims have equal opportunities or compensation.
“Some congregations pay far more than others. Some dioceses pay far more than others. It’s still not a fair system,” he added.
It’s a picture of great unfairness and inequity between survivors across Australia depending on where they placed their claim,” Helen Last, CEO of In Good Faith Foundation, which represents 460 abuse victims, told Reuters.
The commission was established in 2013 to investigate instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia. This month’s report says that between January 1980 and February 2015, 93 Catholic Church authorities received claims of child sexual abuse from 4,445 people.
It managed to identify 1,880 alleged perpetrators, who included 597 (32 percent) ‘religious brothers,’572 (30 percent) priests, 543 (29 percent) lay people, and 96 (5 percent) ‘religious sisters.’ At least 90 percent of the alleged perpetrators were male, according to the report.
Sexual abuse scandals have long dogged the Catholic Church. In 2014, the Vatican said 3,420 credible accusations of sexual abuse committed by priests had been referred to it over the past 10 years, and that 824 clerics were defrocked as a result.
In January, Pope Francis called for “zero tolerance”towards sex crimes against children, and condemned it as “a sin that shames” both the perpetrators and those who cover up for their crimes.
21 January 2021
This newsletter covers an update on the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme). It provides a link to new video and easy read factsheet resources, an update on institutions and recent Scheme data.
The update contains material that could be confronting or distressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories, particularly for people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma.
Support is available to help you if you need it. To find out more, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au/support.
If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available through:
The Scheme is pleased to inform you that a new video designed to provide information to applicants on how to complete the Statutory Declaration when applying to the Scheme has been published.
Our hope is that the video, along with the previously published videos, ‘Overview of the National Redress Scheme’, ‘Applying to the National Redress Scheme’, and ‘Direct Personal Response’, will enhance awareness, engagement and support for all people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse and are considering applying to the Scheme.
You can view the video on the Scheme’s website: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/resources/national-redress-scheme-videos
The Scheme has also published a factsheet for people applying to the National Redress Scheme in an ‘Easy Read’ format. The factsheet is designed to be more accessible for those applicants, and supporters, who are facing literacy, language and other barriers.
This will be followed by six theme-specific shorter factsheets to be published in early 2021.
Two additional Factsheets have been published: Information for support persons, which gives information for support persons who are assisting someone that is applying to the Scheme, and Legal Support, which gives information about the legal support services available to those applying to the Scheme.
You can view these resources on the Scheme’s website: Resources | National Redress Scheme
The Scheme is continuously working with institutions that have been named in applications or identified by other means to encourage them to join and participate in the Scheme. To date the Commonwealth, all state and territory governments and 408 non-government institutions covering around 60,767 sites such as churches, schools, homes, charities and community groups across Australia are participating.
A total of 158 non-government institutions committed to join and finalise on-boarding by no later than 31 December 2020. Of these, 31 institutions will be declared in declaration 1, 2021 due to the department being unable to finalise their administrative requirements by the 31 December deadline.
For the latest information about institutions, visit our website: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions
To find out more about the Scheme, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas.
For regular updates about the Department of Social Services and the Scheme, you can ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the Australian Families Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FamiliesInAustralia/Copyright © 2021 Australian Government, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.
From ‘When British Royals Are Pedophiles, It’s Called Peccadilloes’ (Frank Report 2019), James Saville fronts the article (as follows).
Through reading of this article, attention is drawn again and again by the following second paragraph:
Watch the deck being reshuffled over and over again as the “elite” take care of their own.
Despite receiving intense amounts of counselling, therapies, medications and distractions: many CSA Victims continue to speak about the intensity of their CARC Session and-or their NRS Submission, ripple effects within marriages and families who’re reluctant to admit that these (unkown) Abuses “ever happened” (‘under their responsibility’), disputes and victim-blaming that may result when the CSA Victim has to retell/relive these past experiences to uninvolved relations ‘for interest sake’, splits that may often be blamed on the CSA Victim for ‘being the needle in the haystack’ of their family separation.
Hike these are only some of the potential ‘haystack needles’, they do describe some of the experiences that some of the BBC Students had experienced, witnessed or ignored during their enrolment. These articles were never meant to make accusations, only to provide another POV in the often controlled world of ‘free media exposure’. Comments are welcomed, yet relevant threats will now be reported through applicable QPS CPIU channels (previous OCA comments included). As overlapping instances of Qld Baptist’s SDBC have been cited, these warnings are also made via SDBC_RC.
BBC. (2020). Brisbane Boys’ College. https://www.bbc.qld.edu.au
Commonwealth of Australia. (2017). Child Abuse Royal Commission. https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
Department of Social Services. (2020). National Redress Scheme. https://www.nationalredress.gov.au
OCA. (2020). Brisbane Boys’ College Old Collegians’ Association. http://oldcollegians.com.au
Qld Police Service. (2020). Child Protection Investigation Service. https://www.police.qld.gov.au/units/victims-of-crime/child-protection
SDBC_RC Blog. (2020). Sunnybank District Baptist Church Blog. https://sdbcrc.wordpress.com
Shivani. (2019). When British Royals Are Pedophiles, It’s Called Peccadilloes. https://frankreport.com/2019/08/13/when-british-royals-are-pedophiles-its-called-peccadilloes/
Royal Commission and Brisbane Boys’ College. 2020.
Here’s just some of our highest viewed pieces:
The government claims payments so far point to ‘a more even spread of applications’ over the scheme’s 10-year life
Labor is accusing the Morrison government of framing issues with the national child abuse redress scheme as budget “savings”, after the government revealed it expects to spend $610m less on payments to victims over the next two years.
The financial figures indicating the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse has not delivered as previously expected come as the scheme falls about 12,500 applications short of the amount the royal commission believed would have been lodged by now.
In its budget update released last week, under the “major decreases in payments” section, the government explains the $610m decrease in payments to the fiscal year 2020-21 “largely reflects a re-profiling of expenditure due to slower than expected uptake by survivors accessing redress”.
The government said there had also been “an associated downward re-profiling of the expected receipts received from the institutions liable for the payments”, noting that once redress offers are accepted by victims, payments are generally made to them within a week.
While the government defends this as an indication survivor applications will be more spread out over the scheme’s 10-year window, Labor believes it demonstrates decision-making delays and poor processes plaguing the scheme, which echoes advocates’ concerns earlier this month that child sexual abuse survivors are still being re-traumatised because of shortcomings in scheme.
The opposition’s social services spokeswoman, Linda Burney, said the reduction in spending on redress payments was because “the government has botched the implementation” of the scheme.Government threatens to name ‘reprehensible’ institutions that don’t join child sex abuse redress schemeRead more
Burney said that while the royal commission into institutional child sexual abuse had estimated 60,000 survivors would be eligible for the scheme, just 2,250 applications had been processed and victims paid out by the end of May.Advertisementhttps://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
“At this rate it will take around 50 years for the total estimated number of survivors to receive redress,” Burney said.
“This is the latest insult for survivors who have already waited too long for redress.”
She said that in the more than two years the scheme had been operating, “survivors have been reporting poor processes, unfair and inconsistent decision making, inadequate payments and chronic delays”.
“The National Redress Scheme is meant to deliver justice for survivors, not savings for governments and institutions.
“The scheme simply isn’t working as planned – thousands of people who deserve justice simply aren’t coming forward and the government needs to fix it,” she said.
However, the minister for social services, Anne Ruston, said “this is not a budget saving”, and the $610m reduction in spending on payments was instead an indication there would now be “a more even spread of applications lodged” over the 10-year life of the scheme.
“When the scheme was first set up we believed, based on the advice of the royal commission, that in 2019-20 and 2020-21 we would have received about 20,000 applications. However, we instead received about 7,500 applications.
“Our original forecasts estimated that there would be a large number of applications received in the first few years … This is why the budget papers refer to reprofiling.
“Importantly, this is not a budget saving. The way the scheme works is that the commonwealth pays out redress payments once a survivor has accepted their offer and then the commonwealth recoups the payment from the relevant institutions later.”
Ruston said the government had “not shied away from the fact that the scheme is not perfect”, but said there were “various reasons applications may have come in more slowly than first assumed”.
“This may include that fact that it has taken some time to get all relevant institutions on board as well as the changes that have been made to the statute of limitations related to child sexual abuse in most states and territories since the scheme commenced,” she said.
The Guardian understands that at the end of June, 2,726 victims had received payments, while 350 cases had been processed in the first year of the scheme.
The average payment under the scheme has so far been $82,000.
The change in expected spending on the scheme comes after the federal government banned federal funding and threatened the charitable status of six groups that refused to notify of their intention to join the two-year window that ended on 30 June 2020. Since then, the number of institutions has reduced to four.
27 November 2020
On Friday, 27 November 2020, the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, hosted the Ministers’ Redress Scheme Governance Board (Board) meeting of relevant Ministers with responsibility for the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (the Scheme) in their state or territory.
Ministers acknowledged the significant improvement made by the Scheme to process applications, and agreed that finalisation of applications for survivors must continue to be expedited.
As at 20 November 2020, 4,260 applications had been finalised, including 4,221 payments made, totalling around $350 million, with an average payment of around $83,000. There are 303 non-government institutions covering more than 54,050 sites.
There were 158 institutions named in applications or in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that committed to join the Scheme by 31 December 2020 and most are on track. Ministers agreed that on 4 January 2021, the Commonwealth would publicly name those institutions which had failed to join by 31 December 2020. This would be the second group of institutions publicly named following the initial naming, which occurred on 1 July 2020. The Board noted the ongoing work of Minister Ruston and the department in working with institutions to join the Scheme before 31 December 2020.
As agreed by the Board in April 2020, any institution that does not join the Scheme by the relevant deadline may face financial consequences applied by State, Territory or Commonwealth governments. The Board is committed to taking necessary steps to maximise institutional participation so survivors can access redress.
Ministers supported the work underway by the Commonwealth to remove the charitable status of those institutions who have been named as failing to join the Scheme. This includes introducing legislation this year, which amends the definition of a basic religious charity in the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 to remove a religious institution’s eligibility to be classified as a basic religious charity if it has been named in an application but refuses to join the Scheme.
Ministers welcomed the update provided by Ms Robyn Kruk AO, the Independent Reviewer of the second anniversary review of the Scheme. Ms Kruk advised the meeting on the progress of the review. More than 70 consultations have been undertaken with stakeholders, including with survivors and survivor advocacy groups, states and territories, non-government institutions and support services. A number of these consultations have included discussions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors. The review called for written submissions between July and September and 177 submissions have been received to date. Ms Kruk’s final report is due by the end of February 2021.
Ministers agreed the future priorities for the Board will include considering the recommendations from the second anniversary review, implementing improvements to the Scheme for survivors and on-boarding institutions to the Scheme as quickly as possible.