National News

Redress for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse: Members of independent advisory council announced

Friday 16 December 2016

Media and Communications Office
 
The Australian Government has today announced the members of the Independent Advisory Council on redress, bringing together a broad group of specialists from across Australia.
 
The 15-member council, appointed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, includes survivors of institutional abuse and representatives from support organisations, as well as legal and psychological experts, Indigenous and disability experts, institutional interest groups and those with a background in government.
 
The council will be chaired by the Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM, a former solicitor and Western Australian Attorney General. Ms Edwardes has a long and respected career in victim advocacy and support, and will ensure the needs of survivors are front and centre in the Council’s recommendations.
 
Establishing the council was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and will ensure the Government has streamlined access to expert advice when designing and implementing the Commonwealth redress scheme.
 
The government will also establish a best practice Commonwealth Redress Scheme, inviting other governments and institutions to 'opt-in' to the Commonwealth scheme on the 'responsible entity pays' basis recommended by the Royal Commission.
 
In making the announcement, Attorney-General Senator The Hon George Brandis said he will be supporting the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Christian Porter MP, who will have responsibility for the Council.
 
Members of the Independent Advisory Council on Redress
- The Hon Cheryl Edwardes AM (Chair)
- Professor Muriel Bamblett AM, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (Vic)
- Mr Matthew Bowden, CEO, People with Disability (NSW)
- Ms Caroline Carroll, Chair, Alliance for Forgotten Australians (Vic)
- Ms Anne Cross, CEO, Uniting Care Queensland (Qld)
- Professor Kathleen Daly, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University (Qld)
- Ms Prue Gregory, Principal Lawyer, knowmore (NSW)
- Ms Shireen Gunn, Manager, Ballarat Centre for Sexual Assault (Vic)
- Mr Gary Johns, writer and former Labor Minister (Qld)
- Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, President/Director, Blue Knot Foundation (NSW)
- Ms Helen Kroger, former Liberal Senator for Victoria (Vic)
- Professor Patrick Parkinson, Professor of Law, University of Sydney (NSW)
- Ms Leonie Sheedy, CEO, Care Leavers Australasia Network (NSW)
- Mr Francis Sullivan, CEO, Truth, Justice & Healing Council (ACT)
- Mr Richard Weston, CEO, Healing Foundation (Qld)

The first meeting of the Council will be held early next year. The terms of reference of the Council are below:
 
Terms of Reference
 
The Independent Advisory Council on Redress (the Council) is established as an advisory council to the Minister for Social Services (the Minister). Members of the Council are appointed by the Prime Minister for their relevant public policy expertise, demonstrated commitment to child protection issues and community representation.
 
The principal purpose of the Council is to provide independent advice to the Minister on policies and processes necessary to the design and implementation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme. Ensuring the scheme is implemented with the needs of survivors as front and centre will be an important part of the Council’s role.
 
In particular, the Council will provide advice on:
- the governing principles that underpin the scheme;
- elements of the scheme’s design, that may include eligibility and the principles around the processes of application, assessment, psychological counselling and direct personal response;
- how to best encourage state, territory and non-government institution participation in the scheme; and
- how the Commonwealth scheme will interact with other redress schemes.
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