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Beloved in Christ,

Attached above (RC Final Report Vol 16 Book 1 Anglican Summary 151217) is a section of the final report from the ‘Royal Commission’ as it relates to the Anglican Church. And below you will find further reference links.

The Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn commends the Commissioners and their team for their diligence, care, compassion and courage. They have invested five years of their lives into a process that has exposed our sin and complacency and that will, please God, serve both church and community as together we address sexual abuse, bullying and corruption.

We do welcome all recommendations and are in dialogue with the National Church on implementation strategies. Whilst this will take time, we are locally working on a raft of effective redress programmes and working closely with people have been abused, hurt and disenfranchised.

And to be clear: we are appalled by the behaviour of church leaders and people in authority wherein ‘little ones’ have been harmed and abused. Such actions are unconscionable and reprehensible. Further, the name of Christ has been sullied through such self-centred activity.

Our task is to acknowledge our guilt, to repent of our sin and then to work towards reconciliation and wholeness with survivors and their families. We have much work ahead.

A service of ‘Lament’ will take place in our Cathedral in the New Year. This will give us the opportunity to publicly express our culpability and our grief and to re-state an unequivocal apology to all who have been impacted by this very ugly chapter in our ecclesial and national story.


15 December 2017

Child Abuse Royal Commission’s Final Report released

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was delivered to the Governor-General of Australia and released today.

The Royal Commission’s Final Report comprises 17 volumes and includes a total of 189 new recommendations, many of which are aimed at making institutions safer for children.

Together with the three final reports already released – Criminal Justice, Redress and Civil Litigation and Working With Children Checks – Commissioners have made a total of 409 recommendations.

Commissioners heard thousands of stories of child sexual abuse in institutions. They travelled to every state and territory to hold 57 public hearings and 8,013 private sessions. They have read 1,344 personal written accounts.

The Final Report contains 3,955 de-identified narratives based on survivors’ personal experiences of child sexual abuse told during private sessions and shared in written accounts.

The Australian Government provided the Royal Commission a total of $372.8 million over five years to complete its work, including the two year extension. The Royal Commission’s total estimated expenditure is $342.3 million, meaning it is expected to complete its work under budget by just over $30 million.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said that through the work of the Royal Commission, the Australian public has learnt about the multiple and persistent failings of institutions to keep children safe, the cultures of secrecy and cover-up, and the devastating affects child sexual abuse can have on an individual’s life.

“The Final Report tells the story of institutional child sexual abuse in Australia, and provides recommendations to shape a safer future for children,” Mr Reed said.

“We have now completed our work. It’s up to governments and institutions to take the next steps and implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations.”

The Final Report comprises:

Preface and Executive Summary – includes a summary of the final report and a complete list of all recommendations.

Our inquiry
Volume 1: Our inquiry – introduces the Final Report, describes the establishment, scope and operations of the Royal Commission.

Understanding child sexual abuse in institutional contexts
Volume 2: Nature and cause – describes what the Royal Commission has learned about the nature and cause of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. It includes one recommendation.
Volume 3: Impacts – explains the impacts of child sexual abuse in institutional contexts on survivors and often on their family members, friends, and entire communities.
Volume 4: Identifying and disclosing child sexual abuse – describes what we learned about survivors’ experiences of disclosing child sexual abuse.
Volume 5: Private sessions – examines survivors’ experiences of child sexual abuse as told to Commissioners during private sessions.

Child safe institutions
Volume 6: Making institutions child safe – describes the need for a national child sexual abuse prevention strategy and proposes child safe standards, including how they should be implemented. It includes 24 recommendations.
Volume 7: Improving institutional responding and reporting – looks at institutions’ responses to complaints of child sexual abuse and how they report these matters to external government authorities. It includes 12 recommendations.
Volume 8: Recordkeeping and information sharing – examines the records, recordkeeping and information sharing of institutions that care for or provide services to children. It includes 23 recommendations.

Support and treatment
Volume 9: Advocacy, support and therapeutic treatment services – looks at what we learned about survivors’ needs in terms of advocacy, support and treatment and offers recommendations for improving service systems to better respond to survivors’ needs. It includes nine recommendations.
Volume 10: Children with harmful sexual behaviours – examines what we learned about institutional responses to children with harmful sexual behaviours. It includes seven recommendations.

Particular institutions
Volume 11: Historical residential institutions – describes what we learned about survivors’ experiences of, and institutional responses to, child sexual abuse in residential institutions pre-1990.
Volume 12: Contemporary out-of-home care – examines what we learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in contemporary out-of-home care. It includes 22 recommendations.
Volume 13: Schools – describes what we learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in schools. It includes eight recommendations.
Volume 14: Sport, recreation, arts, culture, community and hobby groups – looks at what we learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in sport and recreation contexts. It includes four recommendations.
Volume 15: Contemporary detention environments – reviews what we learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in contemporary detention environments. It includes 15 recommendations.
Volume 16: Religious institutions – examines what we learned about institutional responses to child sexual abuse in religious institutions. It includes 58 recommendations.

Beyond the Royal Commission
Volume 17: Beyond the Royal Commission – describes the impact and legacy of the Royal Commission and discusses monitoring and reporting on the implementation of our recommendations. It includes six recommendations.

More information on the Final Report.

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