Salvos To Front Royal Commission
Tuesday, 28th January 2014 at 9:27 am
Australia’s best-known welfare organisation, the Salvation Army, will make its first appearance before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse set up by former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse begins public hearings this week into four boys' homes operated by The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory prior to the 1980s.
A statement from the Salvation Army says the early phase of the hearing will be a time for former residents to share their experiences with the Royal Commission and it is the Salvation Army’s role to listen.
“The Salvation Army feels deep regret for every instance of child sexual abuse inflicted on children who were in our care,” the statement said.
“We are grieved that such things happened. We acknowledge that it was a failure of the greatest magnitude.
“Today’s Salvation Army has strong policies and procedures to protect children and ensures the protection of children is the most serious of our obligations. We continue to improve our processes so that children will never be placed in situations like this again and welcome the recommendations from The Royal Commission on how we can further protect children in our care.”
Representatives of The Salvation Army will appear before The Royal Commission to answer questions about the way The Salvation Army responded to allegations of sexual abuse in the homes.
The head of the Salvos Eastern Territory, Commissioner James Condon, is expected to attend each day of the hearing.
“Commissioner Condon is the leader of the Eastern Territory and this is a significant event. He feels the gravity of the issues and wants to personally attend each hearing day,” a spokesperson for the Salvos said.
Productivity Commissioner and chair of the charity regulator the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), Robert Fitzgerald, is one of six Commissioners to oversee the Royal Commission.
The remaining commissioners include: Robert Atkinson, Justice Jennifer Coate, Professor Helen Milroy and Andrew Murray.
The Commission is inquiring into how institutions, including Not for Profits with a responsibility for children have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse and related matters.
Information about the response of The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory to The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse can be found at http://salvos.org.au/royalcommission