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Scouts E-Bulletin - Scouts Australia Supports Royal Commission
Scouts Australia Supports the Royal Commission
Scouts Australia welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of the Royal Commission’s terms of reference and the appointment of six highly regarded Australians as Commissioners.
The six Commissioners provide the necessary diversity of experience to deliver a meaningful and thorough approach to achieving the Royal Commission Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s objective - to effect national changes to the systems which protect children.
Scouts Australia has zero-tolerance for abuse of any kind, and we will work closely with the Commission to share all records and information in order to achieve this crucial objective.
Scouts Australia has established the Royal Commission Advisory Committee, led by Chief Commissioner Reg Williams, that includes representatives from Scouts’ youth, state and territory leadership.
The Advisory Committee will coordinate Scouts Australia’s participation in the Royal Commission across the entire organisation, and will provide all necessary support to the community.
The Advisory Committee is supported by a volunteer legal advisory panel which includes, former NSW Supreme Court Judge and NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal President, The Hon. Greg James AM QC, Mr John De Wijn QC, and Mr Craig Ray. Mr James will lead Scouts Australia’s preparation and representation to the Royal Commission.
Scouts has had a policy and practice to report allegations of child abuse to police, and has made records and files freely available to the police and other child protection authorities. Scouts conducts compulsory child protection police checks in every state and territory, has compulsory leader training for all adult supervisors on the child protection policies and procedures and reinforces procedures for how Scouts responds to child protection allegations.
Scouts hopes that the Commission’s scrutiny of current community organisations’ policies and practices will lead to more rigorous and stringent processes for groups to report suspected child abusers across the entire community. A serious and deep attention to reporting in every organisation should help to create greater confidence to report sexual abuse matters.
Scouts believes that during the past 20 years it has become easier to encourage reports and to take action against suspected child offenders. However, there is still a long way to go, especially to gain the confidence of victims that they will remain safe and be taken seriously by the Australian community and authorities.
Scouts has developed robust and vigilant child protection policies in all States and Territories working with the full range of Child Protection Agencies. There are mandatory police checks for all adult volunteer Leaders and compulsory training to maximise child safety.
Scouts is a family based organisation and we strongly encourage as many parents as possible to be actively involved in all our programs. We urge all parents to familiarise themselves with the child protection policies in their community organisations and to talk to children sensitively about these issues. Ideas to improve safety for children are always welcome and Scouts looks forward to assisting the Commission.
Scouts is grateful to the many thousands of Leaders, parents, volunteers and supporters of Australian Scouting who work tirelessly to mentor and to enrich the lives of so many children in the community through our personal development and educational programs and activities, whilst also ensuring their safety and protection.
For counselling support please contact Lifeline 131114 – 24 hour helpline service.
Scouts Australia welcomes any member of the community providing information regarding any child protection matter – please call Scouts National Office on 02 9413 1133.
- Scouts E-Newsletter - April 2013 E-News
- Scouts E-Bulletin - Scouts Welcomes Royal Commission into child abuse
- Scouts E-Newsletter - October E-News
- Scouts E-Newsletter - Exciting New Volunteer Opportunities at Scouts Australia!
- Scouts E-Newsletter - July 2012
- Scouts E-Newsletter - Scouts Australia takes Leaders to new heights with Scout Central!
- Scouts E-Newsletter - March 2012
- Scouts E-Bulletin - December 2011
- Scouts E-Bulletin - Christmas Greetings