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Government Names and Shames Organisations Yet to Join Redress Scheme


Thursday, 28th February 2019 at 2:25 pm
Luke Michael
The federal government has listed more than 100 institutions yet to join the national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors amid calls to punish organisations refusing to sign up.


Thursday, 28th February 2019
at 2:25 pm
Luke Michael


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Government Names and Shames Organisations Yet to Join Redress Scheme
Thursday, 28th February 2019 at 2:25 pm

The federal government has listed more than 100 institutions yet to join the national redress scheme for child sexual abuse survivors amid calls to punish organisations refusing to sign up.

Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said on Thursday the government would maintain a list of institutions that have not yet joined the scheme, to provide transparency to the public and survivors who want to apply for redress payments.

For institutions that have indicated an intent to join, the list also includes a likely timeframe of when this will be.

Fletcher called on all institutions which have not joined the scheme – including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists NSW/ACT and the Lutheran Church of Australia – to do so as soon as possible.

“The Australian government expects all institutions in which sexual abuse of children has occurred to be accountable for that abuse and join the national redress scheme,” Fletcher said.

The creation of a national redress scheme for child sex abuse survivors was a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The scheme offers eligible abuse survivors a redress payment of up to $150,000, access to psychological counselling, and a direct personal response from the responsible institution if requested.

But while survivors can apply for redress at any time, the relevant institution must have joined the scheme for their application to be processed.

Care Leavers Australasia Network CEO Leonie Sheedy, a longtime advocate for survivors, told Pro Bono News that organisations failing to join the scheme should be penalised.  

“Organisations should have their tax [benefits] and charity status removed if they don’t sign up,” Sheedy said.

She said CLAN had been speaking to Fletcher’s office over many months to name and shame “redress laggers” and thanked him for the move.

But she slammed organisations that were delaying signing up to the scheme, warning of the significant mental toll it was having on victims.

“It’s affecting their mental and physical health. One of our members got rushed to hospital and had to have blood transfusions… there are elderly people that are not going to [live long],” she said.

“The royal commission gave people a sense of trust that they would be listened to and believed but this redress scheme has just re-traumatised people.

“A lot of them have lost faith, they say to me over and over again that they don’t think they’ll see justice in their lifetime.”

Scouts Australia, the Salvation Army, YMCA Australia, and the Catholic Church are among the prominent organisations that have agreed to sign up to the redress scheme.

So far 51 Australians have received redress payments through the scheme, receiving an average of $79,000.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.


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