Commonwealth Redress Scheme a significant win for survivors -
Scouts Australia commends the Government’s announcement of a Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
Scouts has persistently advocated for a national redress scheme that is independent of institutions and accessible for all survivors regardless of where they reside or where abuse occurred. The Government’s announcement that it will establish such a scheme is welcomed, as this approach offers the best opportunity for survivors to have access to redress arrangements that are consistent and independently assessed.
Scouts Australia Chief Commissioner, Chris Bates, said the organisation stands ready to participate in the Commonwealth Scheme.
“Scouts is an organisation of volunteers, many of whom are Mums and Dads of our 66,000 members, who play an invaluable role in the education and development of young Australians. They will be heartened by the Scheme’s firm focus on the needs of survivors, and ensuring that they are neither disadvantaged nor disenfranchised.
Scouts Australia has played a leading and proactive role in support of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, seeking to ensure better support, redress and protection systems.
“Our unwavering focus on the needs of Australian youth has underpinned the pursuit of a system that puts the welfare of survivors and the wider community at its core, and helps to provide the vital relief and healing to survivors of child sexual abuse. We are hopeful that the Government’s announcement hails the beginning of a strong and sustainable redress system.
This crucial step by the Government towards a better system and better future for survivors should be recognised and congratulated, and Scouts looks forward to seeing the full details of the Scheme and its administration.
“While the full details have yet to be released, we are still reassured by the Government’s acceptance of our advocacy for the recognition of the importance of counselling and direct personal responses for survivors as a critical part of a holistic program.”
Scouts would like to also recognise the leadership provided by the Royal Commission in advocating for a system that responds to the financial and wellbeing needs of survivors.
“While this is a momentous occasion, we recognise that there is still a way to go before all of the systemic faults have been fully addressed. Scouts will continue to pursue improvements that will help to address the magnitude of hurt that needs to be healed.”