Royal Commission: Child Sexual Abuse
About the Royal Commission
On 12 November 2012 the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced that she would recommend to the Governor-General that a Royal Commission be appointed to inquire into institutional responses to child abuse.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse inquired into how institutions with a responsibility to children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse. It investigated where systems have failed to protect children and has made recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to the child abuse in institutions.
The six commissioners conducted both public and private hearings taking evidence from victims of child sexual abuse which occurred in institutions, including child-care, religious, cultural, sporting and other institutions. They focused on institutional sexual abuse and not on matters where sexual abuse occurred within families.
On 15 December 2017 the Royal Commission presented its final report to the Governor-General, detailing the culmination of a five-year inquiry into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and related matters.
About the LCA Working Group
The Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) Working Group was formed to coordinate the LCA's engagement with the Royal Commission. The working group prepared the following information pack for the benefit of people within the LCA, especially those in responsible positions over children. It aimed to address some basic questions and issues that you need to know about.
Since the handing over of the commission's final report, the LCA Working Group's attention has turned towards considering the report's recommendations that relate to the LCA.
National Redress Scheme (Australia)
On 16 June 2018 the General Church Council (GCC) resolved that the LCA will join the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced child sexual abuse in institutional settings.
Established by the Commonwealth Government, the scheme is a direct result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It will provide a nationally consistent means of response to abuse that occurred within churches and other institutions.
The LCA is joining state and territory governments and non-government bodies across Australia which have already ‘opted in’ to the scheme. These include the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Salvation Army, the Uniting Church and Scouts Australia. The scheme is due to start on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.
Professional Standards Training
For some time now the LCA has expressed its serious concern for the protection of children by requiring that people who engage in ministry with children undergo the specialised training provided by LCA Professional Standards.
From time to time, the Royal Commission invites submissions on various issues. The LCA Working Group has chosen to respond to the following:
- Issues Paper 1: Working with Children Check
- Issues Paper 3: Child-Safe Institutions
- Issues Paper 4: Out of Home Care for Children
- Issues Paper 6: Redress Schemes
- Issues Paper 7: Victims of Crime Compensation Scheme
- Issues Paper 9: Addressing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse in Primary and Secondary Schools
- Consultation Paper: Redress and Civil Litigation (March 2015)
Royal Commission's Interim Report
- LCA Working Group Summary of Royal Commission's Interim Report Volume 1
- Royal Commission Interim Report Volumes 1 and 2