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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For many of the CSA Victim-Survivours and their families, the misconception of ‘justified manipulation’ is making a major part of the bigger picture. In experiences of multiple forms of “only our student/family has to deal with this”, the similar deny-deny-deny veil has been used repeatedly throughout the different institutions (i.e. churches, schools, clubs & teams) to use fake-news to hide the truths.
Catholic, other denominations (e.g. Anglican, Baptist, Presbetarian, Methodist), Private Schools (e.g. GPS: ACGS, BBC, BGS, GT, NC, TGS, TSS; ), lawyers, justice dept., police (state + federal), schools (Private – notably same-gender), journalism (online, paid and social) and other interested bodies have each increased their POV.
While broad scale requests were sent to noted Private Schools (SEQ-GPS & NSW), Legal Bodies and Institutions already mentioned – there has (expectedly) been minimal feedback. Although there have been relevant leaps in Blog statistics, countries and articles – relevant ABC and SBS News contact has been included:
Perhaps they are too busy adjusting for these earlier exploits;
the hand of god has sent a messenger;
they each promise their sorrow, never to repeat it again (again);
These ‘different pieces’ are being combined in RCbbc’s posts, to explain to readers that their repeated use + reuse is all too common. While reuse of positives may be understood for ‘competitive gain’, ‘academic prowess’ and ‘scientific understanding’, the often (silent 🤐 ) ‘negative gains’ are also swept-under-the-carpet:
As harmful as this may be to our individual children,
it’s also gravely hurtful – when taking a step back,
realise one action leads to another (influence),
tweeks-adaptions made to allow greater deception +
Having completed my initial NRS Experiences and Impact Statements (NRS Fact Sheet, 2019), it initially felt ironic that the most nerves I had felt was actually at the final stage: Apologies. Advice that has given earlier indicates that description of each individual instance, together with personal impacts from each of their ongoing effects supports the evidence throughout the Instances and Impact Statements. While I had previously had the wrong POV, that completing Instances and Impact Statements, my work would be over – taking a wider POV, it’s now clearer that each section confirms and complements related matters throughout the NRS Submission.
As exciting as all this may sound, the journey of its lodgement isn’t over. knowmore (Community Legal Service) is another body involved in the National Redress Scheme. There are also Senior Staff within Blue Knot, who are able to offer their advice into the fine-tuning/tweaking of the order, expressions, focus and editing of Preliminary NRS Submissions.
In working my way through some of the updated NRS data, I came across the following list of possible example list of impacts of CSA experiences (Describing Impact of your Application, 2019). In closer focus, it began to both horrify my and reminded me in the instance(s) that I’m drafting up a list of requested apologies. I also realise that I am ‘but one fish in the sea’ of previous CSA Assaults. Although I feel fortunate for the beneficial discussions I’ve had, my deepest request/suggestion goes out to any other Surviving-Victim of CSA: Seeking Help can be done anonymously! When you’re ready to take things further, Expert Guidance is available.
Some Private Schools in NSW are supported outright by Religious bodies, also sharing traits with many of Brisbane’s CSA experiences (GPS). Coupled with the ‘Teacher-swapping’ habitus of GM Cujes and his involvement in the CARC, there’s been withdrawal of School Seniority from Catholic Schools and Change-of-Names. The ‘Christian Brothers’ (seriously, not satire) had withdrawn their church leadership (ABCNews 2019), appointing laymen to these Headmaster roles. As there had already been suspicious reputations of secrecy and cloister (ABCnews 2019 & BRA 2020). Thankfully the separations into ‘good’ Patients and ‘bad’ Patients extended to occasional medical checks at local hospitals. In keeping with canon law to remain completely anonymous to outside authorities (King 2019). Ironically the Patients who made the majority of the ‘bad’ group, were Catholic Christian Brothers. Seemingly, like persona forced themselves to flock together leading to give a negative impression on nurses who were used to serving a wider public audience.
Unsurprisingly, George Pell had perjured himself in his Defense of Gerald Ridsdale. As immortalised by the following photo, Pell would later be acquitted by an overruling Australian High Court (2020). Potentially on legal-technicalities, the multiple Judges overruled a previous Guilty Verdict of Pell. Now in the Catholic’s Vatican, Pell may be enjoying his escape from judicial trials yet as any CSA Victim-Survivour knows, their actions will leave their mark until the end.
Ironically, GM Cujes (although denouncing CARC allegations, 2016) achieved Headmaster of Trinity College. Previously St Patrick’s College, later renamed Trinity Catholic College by the Catholic Church. Changing names (persons, businesses & institutions) is frequently associated with desires to create distance from historic events of the previous namesake. Psychology, Justice and other fields acknowledge these facts. Unsurprisingly, GM Cujes had preferred to be referred to by his middle name whilst Headmaster of BBC (1990-1996). Under Trinity appointment, Graham appears missing as their preference. AK Buchanan (‘Butch’) used similar choices between his hunting-playgrounds (BBC & IGS): (A) Kim at BBC and Anthony K at Ipswich Grammar School.
To each of our RCbbc Blog Readers who have-are-will submit an NRS Submission, it pleases me that I’m reaching a point in my Submission Drafting that my Counsellor & I will soon send it off to another agency. This may sound complex, yet it’s what a fair amount of the CSA Surviving-Victims require.
Although I had earlier been in contact with some of these same offices previously, I was approaching things in the wrong order. I now understand why some avenues suggest a ‘top down’ mentality, yet for the rest of us we’re happier with a ‘grassroots’ approach.
Until 2001/2 there appears to have been no Government controls over most Private Schools. Known as “Accreditation of Non-State Schools”, until the introduction of the 2006 Act, all that appears to be available was the ‘Education (General Provisions) Act 1989 (Qld)’. Memories of Buchanan and Bradley seemingly rubbing the noses of their victims, in BBC’s non-inclusions of the 1989 Act were experienced by many. Each of these Victims do have NRS Compensation-Support-Apologies available to them (minimum).
Of particular note in Qld Gov’s Objectives of the 2017 version: “to maintain public confidence in the operation of non-State Schools”. How much does this seem defensive, of the decades + decades of abhorrent ‘kiddie-fiddling’ which ran riot in our ‘Elite Schools of Excellence’?
The following processes, must now be provided to all students:
a. the reporting, by a student to a stated staff member, of behaviour of another staff member that the student considered inappropriate
how the information reported must be dealt with
the reporting, by a staff member to the School’s Principal, of harm of which the staff member is aware, or the staff member reasonably suspects to have been caused to a student under 18 years
the reporting of harm or suspected harm by the Principal to a relevant State Authority.
Approaching the end of June 20, it’s the rollover of another year on many levels. ‘Mid-year madness’ is a common title given to Sales, states-of-mind, emotions, shortest seasonal day (Winter Solstice), School holidays have begun, unexpected losses of home isolation & COVID19’s impact is expected to continue; contrasting with Australia & New Zealand being awarded the Womens’ World Cup 2023 by FIFA! So, life goes on.
In this Mid-year madness, we’re pleased to be bringing our growing audience (currently 1,422) the 2nd + 3rd in a series of 6 Editions of Anne Waldherr’s Unbiblical series. These may be suitably timed, as each of RCbbc’s releases have seen a global leap in readers of our site. There have been occasional messages, which allow conversations to be shared.
As seen by our planned eNews, there have been notable jumps in visitors + countries, related to the varying Topics. Since our last eNews, we have covered:
The understanding of a ‘Ripple effect’ of CSA Predators, continues throughout society. The resources to challenge this issue cannot be easily sorted. These pieces of data will continue to be shared. The imbalances that the church-military-politics have had for millenniums cannot easily be changed. These will be an unexpected form of ‘Let Honor Stainless Be’, by demanding justice for ourselves and our effected families.
Feedback Received – re: NRS
Anna Waldherr (avoicereclaimed & ‘unbiblical’) : It is good to know such a Scheme has been established. You may at times stand a lonely vigil. But the information you provide is essential.