Around 50 parishioners from Belconnen parishes gathered in Canberra this week, to talk to Francis Sullivan about the work of the Truth Justice and Healing Council and the progress of the Royal Commission.
Hosted by the Aranda and Page Parishes, the forum was attended by Fr Michael Mullen, administrator of those parishes and Marg Konen, Principal of St Vincent's Primary School Aranda.
Many people from the local community aired their concerns, including the need for cultural change and how communities can respond to the anger, hurt and disbelief caused by the sexual abuse of children in the Church.
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We are now hard on the half way mark of the Royal Commission, both in terms of the time allocated and the public policy and examination work it has set itself.
By the end of the year it will have undertaken 33 of the up to 60 public hearings it indicated would form the examination component of its work and much of the Commission's research and policy work is well underway.
The Government now has the Commission's recommendations on redress for survivors; now is the time for action. At the very least the Prime Minister should call a meeting of all state and territory leaders so the community can get a clear understanding of the process and timing on how the Commission's recommendations are going to be implemented.
Maria Harries to head Tasmanian child protection redesign
Truth Justice and Healing Council member, Professor Maria Harries AM will head the group tasked with the significant redesign of Tasmania's child protection system.
The new model aims to fundamentally change the way Tasmania deals with families at risk and the application of protective intervention measures.
West Australian-based Professor Harries has extensive experience in Tasmanian child protection, having led the Legislative Amendments Review Reference Committee in 2012 and the Advocacy for Children in Tasmania Review in 2013.
At a workshop with more than 15 theological students and others at the Uniting Church Theological College in Parramatta last week TJHC Francis Sullivan said all churches were having to face up to their own 'demons' as the Royal Commission continued to uncover child abuse in so many different institutions.
Speaking to the group ahead of an evening public lecture at the centre Francis said the extent of abuse across so many institutions had shocked much of the community.
He also said that without real action and change that could demonstrate church and institutional leaders had fully appreciate the extent of the failure to protect children and provide redress for victims then little will change.
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Why does it take victims of child sex abuse so long to speak up?
...Studies with adult survivors consistently find that most didn't tell anyone about the abuse when they were kids. Only a small proportion of incidents are ever reported to the authorities.
The Conversation reports disclosure is not an event but a process. Many factors are at play in enabling or constraining a child to speak directly about abuse and bringing that complaint to the attention of the authorities.