Fifth anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP
Minister for Social Services
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Joint media release
The National Apology was delivered in response to a five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse initiated by former Prime Minister, the Honourable Julia Gillard AC.
More than 17,000 victims and survivors bravely came forward in response to the Royal Commission and nearly 8,000 victims and survivors recounted their horrendous abuse in private sessions.
The apology that followed honoured the courage of victims, survivors and advocates who spoke out to expose abuse in institutions, often at great personal cost, by having to re-live the trauma.
Their courage also paved the way for ongoing initiatives that seek to prevent and respond to all forms of child sexual abuse and provide support to victims and survivors.
The Australian Government continues to prioritise implementing recommendations of the Royal Commission, and supporting initiatives that stemmed from this inquiry, which included the establishment of the:
- Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation
- National Office for Child Safety
- National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse
- National Redress Scheme
- National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse.
Since the Redress Scheme was established in 2018, over $1 billion dollars in redress payments has been paid to survivors. There are more than 600 non-government organisations now participating in the Scheme, covering more than 71,000 sites such as churches, schools, homes, charities, and community groups, across Australia.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Albanese
“Five years ago, the Government apologised on behalf of Australians for the appalling institutional abuse experienced by children and young people, and our failure to protect them."
“We acknowledge the 5th anniversary of the apology and reaffirm the Government’s commitment to establish a world in which our children and young people are safe, and victims and survivors receive the support they deserve."
“The Royal Commission broke the silence surrounding institutional child sexual abuse and the National Apology marked the end of one era and the beginning of a more hopeful one.”
Quotes attributable to the Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus:
“This year also marks the fifth year of the National Office for Child Safety, and two years since the launch of the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021-2030."
“The National Office oversees implementation of the National Strategy across Commonwealth, state and territory governments, to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse, and support and empower victims and survivors."
“The Government is increasing awareness of child sexual abuse and taking steps to introduce practical initiatives that support the community to respond to child sexual abuse."
“This work includes launching a national awareness raising campaign to help all Australians understand child sexual abuse is preventable, and we all have a role to play."
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth:
“Our focus remains on the wellbeing of survivors and ensuring they have access to redress for the harm and trauma they endured, through the National Redress Scheme."
“We cannot take away the pain of survivors, but we are committed to supporting them and working to repair our communities. There is still much work to be done."
“There have been over 30,000 applications to the Scheme from some of the most vulnerable members of our community, which shows the widespread and enduring impact institutional child sexual abuse has had on our nation."
“The Government is also supporting the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse, fulfilling the recommendation of the Royal Commission to prevent child sexual abuse, by creating a viable evidence base and providing essential training to workers to identify child sexual abuse in settings where it may occur.”
Blue Knot Foundation supports anyone affected by complex trauma, and is available Monday-Sunday 9am-5pm AEDT.