The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan, has welcomed the Redress and Civil Litigation Report released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“We are pleased that the Royal Commission’s Report recommends that a process for redress must provide equal access and equal treatment for survivors,” said Stuart.
“We strongly support the Report’s recommendation for a single national scheme to meet the needs of survivors.
“Equality of access and a single national scheme are elements we raised in our own submissions to the Royal Commission and we hope that Federal and State Governments take these recommendations on board in their consideration of the Report.”
The Redress and Civil Litigation Report outlines key recommendations for institutions and governments to address and alleviate the impact of past and future child sexual abuse.
“The Report noted the Uniting Church’s submission in which we acknowledged that past support for survivors has been inconsistent and incomplete, and a source of anger and frustration,” said Stuart.
“Our Church’s position is not just to say ‘sorry’ to anyone who was sexually abused in our care, but also, in consultation with survivors, to actively seek ways to make amends for what happened in the past and identify how we can best offer support into the future.
“Over the coming weeks the Church will consider the Royal Commission’s recommendations carefully to understand how we can best respond to survivors.
“I urge all Uniting Church institutions – big and small across the country to continue their efforts and vigilance to make our Church the safest place for children it can possibly be.”
The Chief Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan AO told the Uniting Church’s 14th Assembly meeting in Perth in July that the only opportunity for justice for many survivors would be through an effective national scheme.
Justice McClellan also said Uniting Church institutions made up about three percent of total allegations heard by the Royal Commission.