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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fwd: Commonwealth responds to RC redress proposals, new child protection laws in Vic, Frankly Speaking, and more


Welcome to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council eNewsletter

February 2016
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Commonwealth releases response to Commission's redress proposals

Last Friday the Commonwealth Government released a statement dealing with how it intends to approach the Royal Commission's proposals for a redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse.

While the statement is short on detail it is an important first step in ensuring the issue is part of the national political debate.

Read statement from Commonwealth Government here
Read media release from TJHC here
Listen to Francis Sullivan on Radio National here

   
 

Frankly speaking...

The Federal Government said last Friday it will work with the states and territories to set up a national framework to offer compensation to victims of child sex abuse. 

But the problem with what the Commonwealth seems to be proposing is that by running individual schemes in different states and territories survivors from different places around the country will inevitably, be treated differently.

Latest from the Council
 
 

Perth Archbishop calls for greater focus on CSA and survivors

The Archbishop of Perth, Tim Costelloe, says the screening of the movie Spotlight is an opportunity for all the Church in Australia to acknowledge the extent church leaders and others failed 'to be the signs and bearers of God's love and compassion they were expected, and appointed, to be".

Writing in The Record he says the film, which details the uncovering of child sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese, has many parallels for the Catholic Church in Australia.

"Here, too, defenceless and innocent children and young people were sexually abused by priests, religious and other Church personnel. Their faith and their lives were profoundly damaged, if not destroyed, by this terrible betrayal," Archbishop Costelloe writes.

Spotlight was released in Australia last week.

Read full article here
 

New child protection laws begin in Victoria

Victorian organisations that work with children and are funded or regulated by the Victorian Government must now comply with mandatory child safety standards and reporting obligations.

The new laws, which aim to ensure that organisations that deal with children have appropriate and consistent measures in place to prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse, came into effect from 1 January.

Read report on Pro Bono

 
Visit Vic Govt Human Services site for detail
   
 
 

Working Ethically in Child Protection

In their day-to-day practice, social work and human services practitioners frequently find themselves in confusing ethical quandaries, trying to balance the numerous competing interests of protecting children from harm and promoting family and community capacity. In this book the authors aim to prepare students and early-career professionals for roles in the complex and challenging work of child protection and family support.

Authors: Bob Lonne, Maria Harries, Brid Featherstone, Mel Gray

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Royal Commission directions hearings

Two directions hearings have been scheduled by the Royal Commission for Friday 5 February 2016.

The first will consider Cardinal George Pell's capacity to attend the third part of the public hearing into Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat this month.

The second will consider Bishop Ronald Mulkearns' capacity to attend the same hearing.

Royal Commission media release - Cardinal Pell

Royal Commission media release - Bishop Mulchearns

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Being Safe and Feeling Safe: Children's conceptualisation of interpersonal safety

The Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University has released findings of the first part of a study commissioned by the Royal Commission examining children's experiences and perceptions of safety in institutions.

The study was based on the view that children and young people understand and experience safety in different ways to adults, and without an appreciation of what children and young people need to be and  feel safe, responses may fail to adequately respond to their concerns.

 
Read the findings
   
 
 

Assistance for people appearing before the Royal Commission

Legal financial assistance is a grant to cover the reasonable costs of legal representation and disbursements relating to the provision of evidence to the Royal Commission.

You are eligible to apply for legal financial assistance if you receive a letter from the Royal Commission requesting you attend an interview, or are called, or given leave to appear, as a witness at a public or private hearing. You are not eligible to apply if you appear on behalf of an organisation, or attend a private session.

 

More information
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Spotlight opens in Australia

Tom McCarthy, the director and co-writer of the film Spotlight, says Catholics should not be put off seeing his Oscar-nominated film about the Boston Globe's investigation into sexual abuse by clergy.

The film, which was released in Australia this month, tells the story of The Boston Globe's investigation into the cover-up of clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The film has been endorsed by church leaders in the US and abuse survivors  alike.

McCarthy says the film deals with a sensitive issue and part of the  approach was to not sensationalise or be gratuitous.

"It's not just a question of a newspaper going after the Church but also a larger question of societal complicity and deference, in this case towards the Church, but also in general.

Read review from Eureka Street here
 
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