As we move into October it is not long before the nation's political leaders will have to show their hand on support or otherwise for a national redress scheme. Social Services Minister Christian Porter has stepped up. Already he has released draft legislation that can morph into a national redress scheme.
What we end up with as a redress model for victims of institutional child sexual abuse will be the result of the forthcoming parliamentary debate. And if it takes some pragmatic changes to the draft bill to achieve national coverage, then let's bring them on.
Separate and elitist priesthood drawing its last breaths: Bishop Long
Parramatta's Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen has told a seminary reunion in Sydney that the model of an exalted, separate and elitist priesthood was "drawing its last breaths".
"We bear the brunt of public anger and distrust in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis," Bishop Long told the gathering at Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club, in western Sydney, in a speech entitled "The Priesthood in Australia: Reflections on its future in the light of the Royal Commission (into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse)".
Justice Peter McClellan AM, Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, addressed the Australia and New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP) 30th Anniversary Conference in Sydney on Saturday 30 September 2017. He outlined Royal Commission processes, including the need for private sessions because of the potential impact on victims of providing evidence. He also detailed the potential long term impact of abuse including loss of faith or spirituality; and barriers to disclosuer, especially for children. He also described factors that affect the survivor's ability to provide evidence and the importance of an effective naitonal redress scheme.
Protecting children from abuse needs leadership and cultural change
Daryl Higgins, Professor & Director, Institute of Child Protection Studies at the Australian Catholic University writes on the Conversation web site that if the the rhetoric of preventing child sexual abuse in organisations continues to focus mostly on screening then institutions will keep failing children.
October 10, Address to the Western Australian Bar Association October 11, Address St Benedicts Parish Burwood October 12, Panel discussion, Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne October 17, Address to University of the Third Age, Canberra October 18, Blue Knot Day presentation, St Mary's Parish Greensborough, Melbourne October 19, Address to Catholic Community of Geelong, Geelong November 2, Presentation Emaus Catholic Primary School, Ballarat November 4, Address to Catholic School Parents Australia, Hobart November 9, Update to MacKillop Family Services Leadership Team Meeting November 14, Address to Catholic Secondary Principals Australia, Adelaide November 14, Address to Millicent Parish, Mount Gambia November 27, Address National Directors of Catholic Education, Sydney December 18, Address Executive Mercy Health Board, Melbourne