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Ex PM Kevin Rudd apologises to the Forgotten Australians and Child Migrants Nov 16 2009

"...They should be honoured for their experience and given every support they need in order to participate fully in the community of which they are part..."

Speech Senator Gary Humphries on the Forgotten Australians Inquiry.

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It is not just the impact that tragic childhood experiences have had for the Forgotten Australians. Their children and families have also felt the impact, which can then flow through to future generations.
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4 November 2016

Joint Media Release with:

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC

Attorney-General

Leader of the Government in the Senate


The Turnbull Government is today announcing a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and is inviting states, territories and other non–government institutions to join in the Commonwealth scheme to deliver redress to the survivors of these wrongs.

“Today’s announcement is delivering on the Coalition’s commitment to strive to ensure redress is provided for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse across Australia by the responsible institutions,” Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said.

The Government acknowledges that survivors of institutional child sexual abuse were abandoned and betrayed by many institutions, including governments, churches and charities.

“We have spent many months consulting states, territories and institutions about how we can work together to deliver redress to ensure just outcomes for survivors”, the Attorney-General, George Brandis, said.

The Government will establish a best practice Commonwealth Redress Scheme and invite other governments and institutions to “opt-in” to the Commonwealth scheme on the “responsible entity pays” basis recommended by the Royal Commission.

The Government acknowledges that survivors across the country need and deserve equal access and treatment. That is why the Government is taking the lead and setting up a Commonwealth scheme to provide redress for survivors of child sexual abuse in Commonwealth institutions, and inviting states, territories and other non-government institutions to join.

While the Commonwealth is unable to force participation in a national scheme, the Government will be working closely with states, territories and other non-government institutions to work towards maximising national consistency. A truly national scheme requires the support of the states and territories.

“This is about institutions making amends and recognising the harm that has been caused to children in their care,” Minister Porter said.

The Commonwealth scheme is expected to be established by 2018 and will offer a direct personal response for those survivors who seek it, options to receive psychological counselling and a monetary payment (comprising a maximum payment of $150,000) to acknowledge the wrongdoing inflicted upon them.

“This is about institutions making amends and recognising the harm that has been caused to children in their care,” Minister Porter said.

The Commonwealth scheme is expected to be established by 2018 and will offer a direct personal response for those survivors who seek it, options to receive psychological counselling and a monetary payment (comprising a maximum payment of $150,000) to acknowledge the wrongdoing inflicted upon them.

The Government will also establish an independent advisory council bringing together a broad group of specialists, including survivor groups, legal and psychological experts, to provide advice on the implementation of the scheme.

Importantly, the Government is taking strong action to prevent child sexual abuse in the future, working with state and territory governments, law enforcement agencies, the community sector and researchers to keep children safe. In particular, though the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, and funding a range of early intervention and prevention services such as the Children and Parenting Support Program, Communities for Children, and the Intensive Family Support Service.

More information about how survivors can access assistance through the Royal Commission support services in every state and territory is available at www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/support-services

Additionally, 24 hour telephone assistance is available through:


Lifeline 13 11 14 1800

Respect 1800 737 732

Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia 1800 211 028

MensLine Australia 1300 789 978

Source: DSS

Commonwealth redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse

Questions and answers

What will be offered under the scheme?

The scheme will offer the following elements, to acknowledge the terrible abuse survivors experienced, in the hope that they will assist survivors in their personal journey of healing: A direct personal response, for those survivors who seek it, involving the survivor having the opportunity to meet with a very senior appropriate person, in a safe and supportive environment, to tell their personal story of what they experienced and how it has impacted them, to provide them with an opportunity to be acknowledged and receive a response.

    Access to trauma-informed and culturally-appropriate psychological counselling, to address the suffering of survivors and support them in accessing redress.

    Access to community based supports, including case management and advocacy.

    A monetary payment of up to $150,000 in recognition of the abuse, and the hurt and harm suffered.

Who will be able to receive redress under the scheme?

The scheme will provide best practice supportive redress services to people who were sexually abused, as children, in Commonwealth institutional settings. It will also provide redress to survivors abused in other institutional settings, should state, territory and non-government institutions opt in to the scheme.

What do you mean by Commonwealth institutional settings?

Whether or not a survivor was in a Commonwealth institutional setting when they suffered childhood sexual abuse will depend on the individual circumstances of each claim. However they might include, for example, situations where the Commonwealth employed children, delivered activities for children, or delivered state functions in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory before self-government.

How will harm be assessed?

An assessment matrix and guidelines will be developed to ensure that outcomes are as consistent as possible.  These will be designed in consultation with the Advisory Council.

What if the non-government institution where the abuse occurred no longer exists?

If an institution no longer exists or is unable to pay redress, and there is a direct link to the Commonwealth as the responsible government, the Commonwealth will take the responsibility for providing redress. The Commonwealth is encouraging state and territory governments to take the same responsibility for providing redress where non-government institutions no longer exist and they are the relevant responsible government.

What happens if an institution refuses to opt in to the Commonwealth redress scheme?

The Government will exercise every endeavour to achieve maximum participation in the scheme, and will be working closely with institutions, including churches and charities, over the coming months. The Government remains confident that there is a strong willingness from institutions to make amends and participate in a scheme.

How will redress payments affect Centrelink or other Government payments?

Redress payments will be exempted from any current or future Commonwealth debt recoveries. Payments will also be exempt from any income tests that are relevant to other Government payments.

When will the scheme commence?

The Australian Government acknowledges survivors have waited a long time and are anxious to receive redress as soon as possible.  The Government will work as quickly as possible with state and territory governments, non-government institutions, and the independent Advisory Council to work through the complex issues to ensure that a survivor focused scheme is established in 2018.

How long will the scheme run for?

The scheme will run for approximately 10 years. However towards the end of the 10 years, Government will review the need for the scheme to be extended if it is obvious at that time that redress has not been provided to all eligible survivors.

Can I register now for redress under the scheme?

Details of the scheme are still being worked out. At this time, registrations are not able to be made. The Australian Government will provide as much notice as possible to survivors about when the scheme will open.

What if I have already received redress under another scheme?

The arrangements for people who have already received some form of redress through another scheme have not been finalised. Survivors who have accessed redress under another scheme will not be excluded from applying to this scheme. Prior relevant payments will be taken into account in assessing entitlements under this scheme.

What is the Advisory Council?

The independent Advisory Council will provide input on the design and operation of the scheme. The Advisory Council will bring together a broad and diverse group of specialists to ensure the Commonwealth redress scheme meets the needs of survivors. They will include survivor group representatives, legal and psychological experts.

What sorts of counselling will be available under the scheme?

The psychological counselling under the scheme will be trauma-informed and culturally appropriate, delivered through Primary Health Networks. It will be complemented by community-based suicide prevention activities and professional development for psychological professionals.

In addition, community based support services such as those currently available to support the Royal Commission including case management, advocacy and healing support will be available.

Where can I get support now?

The Department of Social Services funds Royal Commission support services in every state and territory, including case management, advocacy, healing support and suicide prevention services.

A complete list of support services can be found on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse support services website.

Source: DSS


This image dedicated to all those abused whilst under Institutional care.
This image dedicated to all those abused whilst under Institutional care.
It is not just the impact that tragic childhood experiences have had for the Forgotten Australians. Their children and families have also felt the impact, which can then flow through to future generations.