The Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) has formed the Commissions and Inquiries Working Group to coordinate the church’s ongoing engagement with commissions and inquiries, and to support the implementation of their recommendations.
A working group was formed in 2013 to coordinate the LCA’s engagement with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Since the handing over of the commission’s final report in December 2017, the group’s attention has turned towards the report’s 62 recommendations that have been identified as requiring specific action by the LCA. The assessment, prioritisation and implementation of the recommendations is being managed by Mary Ann Carver, recently appointed LCA Child Protection Project Officer.
A key area of responsibility for the Working Group is the LCA’s obligations under the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The scheme is a direct result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In June last year the General Church Council (now General Church Board) resolved that the LCA would join the scheme.
The Working Group is also engaging with Lutheran aged-care service providers as they respond to requests from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, announced in September 2018 by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. In November all aged-care service providers were asked to provide extensive submissions to the commission by either early January or early February (depending on the size of the organisation). The Working Group is supporting this work through coordination of resources and sharing of expertise.
The current members of the Working Group are: Executive Officer of the Church Peter Schirmer (chair), Dianne Eckermann, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Linda Macqueen, Tim Ross and Faye Schmidt.