Royal Commission Upates: Public Hearings and new Issues Paper

Royal Commission

The Royal Commission has commenced private hearings and has issued several updates on its websites. A public hearing will be conducted in the Hunter Valley in September.

  • Royal Commission visits Kimberley communities
  • Aboriginal community organisations in Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek and Kununurra will meet with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week.

    Chief Executive Officer, Ms Janette Dines, said the meetings will focus on how to make it easier for Aboriginal people to engage with the Royal Commission, and how Aboriginal community organisations can support community members who may wish to come forward and tell their story.

    “The Royal Commission is committed to giving Aboriginal people a voice,” said Ms Dines.

    From 19 to 24 August, Commissioners Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray will meet with representatives of the Kimberley Stolen Generations, Yawuru community leaders, Aboriginal legal and medical services, sexual assault and mental health services and the Kimberley Land Council to explain how the Royal Commission works and learn about the extent of institutional child sexual abuse in the Kimberley region.

  • Public hearing to commence 16 September 2013
  • The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold a public hearing in Sydney on Monday 16 September 2013.

    The public hearing will run for up to a week and will look at how organisations including Scouts Australia, Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services and the then Department of Community Services responded to information and allegations concerning Steven Larkins, the former CEO of Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Services.

    The public hearing will examine issues including:

    • how information was shared between the various organisations;
    • how the Working With Children Check was conducted and assessed; and
    • whether organisational factors may have influenced responses to allegations and information.

    ABC Radio National looked into some of the aspects of this first public hearing.

  • Royal Commission Practice Guideline 1 updated
  • The Royal Commission has revised and updated Practice Guideline 1 in response to feedback received. Annexed to the revised Practice Guideline 1 is the form entitled ‘Application for Leave to Appear at the Royal Commission’. If you are interested in telling your story, dowload and read this document from the Royal Commission Website.

  • Royal Commission third Issues Paper released
  • The Royal Commission has released its third Issues Paper on Child Safe Organisations and is seeking submissions from interested individuals and government and non-government organisations about the content and effectiveness of strategies aimed at creating ‘child safe organisations’ by Friday 11 October 2013.

    Conducting employment screening checks is only one aspect of keeping children safe from sexual abuse in institutions. Good child safe policies and practices are needed to reduce potential risks and keep children safer in institutions.

    Examples of child safe policies and practices might include codes of conduct, complaints handling procedures, and the recruitment, education, training and supervision of staff, including volunteers. Good child safe practices may also include promoting an organisational culture that is committed to child safety, and ensuring that children are able to express concerns about safety or disclose harm.

    This issues paper raises a number of questions for consideration and has examples of good practice from Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

    ABC Radio The World Today broadcast a program on how Working with Children Checks will be introduced in Tasmania.