The Royal Commission
The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW and the ACT welcomed the decision of the Federal Government to establish a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) and pledges to cooperate fully and honestly with the Royal Commission.
The Uniting Church in Australia has issued a Values Statement in relation to the Royal Commission.
The Uniting Church in Australia National Assembly has convened a National Engagement and Response Task Group to the Royal Commission. All Synods of the Uniting Church in Australia have established Task Groups to work with the National Task Group on Royal Commission matters. The purpose of the Task Groups is to strengthen the capacity of the Church across its Councils, Agencies and schools to engage openly and positively with the Royal Commission.
Reports of child sexual abuse in the Uniting Church or a Uniting Church agency, should be reported to the police in the first instance.
If you would like to make a complaint please contact Rev. Jane Fry, Associate Secretary, Synod of NSW and the ACT by:
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone on (02) 8267 4452
- Mail addressed as “Confidential” to the Associate Secretary, Uniting Church Synod of New South Wales and ACT, PO Box A2178, Sydney South 1235.
The Royal Commission is conducting its work investigating incidents of child abuse through four main channels: public hearings, private hearings, issues papers and research. The Royal Commission held a public hearing into matters relating to the sexual abuse of students by teachers that occurred at Knox Grammar, a Uniting Church School in the 1970’s and 1980’s from 23 February to 6 March 2015.
Uniting Church Media Release dated 22 January 2015.
The Moderator, Rev. Myung Hwa Park's statement on the Royal Commission, 6 March 2015.
The Uniting Church in Australia provided a National response to three Issues Papers.
Royal Commission Issues Paper 1: Working With Children Check, 17 June 2013
Uniting Church in Australia response to Issues Paper 1, 12 August 2013
Royal Commission Issues Paper 3: Child safe institutions, 8 August 2013
Uniting Church in Australia response to Issues Paper 3, October 2013
Royal Commission Issues Paper 4: Sexual Abuse of Children in Out-of-Home Care, 11 September 2013
Uniting Church in Australia response to Issues Paper 4, November 2013
If you have experienced child sexual abuse within the Uniting Church or one of its predecessor churches - in a congregation or within an institution or service - you are encouraged to contact the Royal Commission here to tell your story.
Throughout the duration of the Royal Commission and in our ongoing activities, The Uniting Church will conduct itself in a way that upholds our commitment to actively contributing to the healing and justice process for the survivors and their families.
As part of an ongoing process we are reviewing our internal procedures and approach, and we will be implementing a number of changes to better protect and serve those in our care. Our priority is reconciliation and meeting the immediate needs of survivors and providing them with support.
If you have any questions or concerns about the Royal Commission process we encourage you to contact The Secretariat on 02 8267 4323. As part of our commitment to transparency we will ensure to provide regular updates to our agency partners.
Child sexual abuse has a profound impact upon the child. The child’s family, friends and those around them are also affected by the trauma of the abuse. There are many ways in which the Royal Commission seeks to support the survivors of child sexual abuse. For those working in the area of support of survivors of abuse, whether directly or indirectly, it is important to remember to engage in self-care. The Royal Commission website has invaluable resources to assist with this.
One of the areas of support is an organisation called Know More. Know More is a free service that provides:
- Legal advice and assistance
- Legal information and referral to relevant services where necessary
- Assistance with preparing written statements and submissions
- Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations
- NSW Special Commission of Inquiry concerning the investigation of certain child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter region
- The Australian Government Department of Social Services - Families and Children
- The Uniting Church, Synod of NSW and the ACT Children’s Ministry
- Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse support
- Victims Counselling and Support Services
If you are in crisis and require after hours assistance please call:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
- Parent Line 1300 30 1300
- 1800 Respect (Family Violence and Sexual Assault Line) 1800 737 732
- Police Assistance Line 131 444
- Child Protection Hotline (NSW) 132 111
- Department of Community Services Care and Protection Services (ACT) 1300 556 729