Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Government funds the important work of the Royal Commission

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Julia Gillard MP
    Prime Minister

    The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP
    Attorney General

The Gillard Government is providing $434.1 million over four years from 2012-13 to support the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

This funding will provide the Royal Commission with the necessary resources to fully investigate where institutions have gone wrong and to ensure survivors of child sexual abuse have the support they need to tell their story.

This funding recognises the importance the Government places on addressing injustices that have occurred in institutions against the most vulnerable in our society.

It is a key component in the Government’s plans to ensure a stronger, smarter and fairer Australia.

The Royal Commission will make recommendations on ways to improve laws, practices and policies which will be fundamental to protecting all children in institutions in the future.

Its recommendations will also help ensure the failings of those institutions in the past are never allowed to happen again, and that survivors receive the support and justice they deserve.

Importantly, the Royal Commission will assist with the healing process for those affected by traumatic experiences.

This is perhaps the most significant and far-reaching Royal Commission in Australia’s history.

As part of this investment, the Gillard Government is providing $45.0 million over four years from 2012-13 years to support survivors of child sexual abuse and affected family members who are participating in the Royal Commission.

We understand the importance of ensuring that survivors of child sexual abuse are supported to participate in the Royal Commission.

For many people, talking about their experiences will be very traumatic, and they will require support to participate in the Commission and to help with their healing.

Organisations will receive funding to deliver services such as counselling, support and case management to individuals and affected family members before, during as well as after their engagement with the Royal Commission.

This includes funding for organisations that provide specialist services to people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Indigenous Australians, people with disability and people who speak English as a second language.

These specialist support services will complement existing legal support mechanisms for people participating in the Commission process, as well as any support services provided within the Royal Commission.

The Government is also providing a suite of legal support mechanisms to meet the needs of those engaging with the Royal Commission. These include:

  • payment of the expenses of witnesses appearing before the Royal Commission, such as travel;
  • a legal financial assistance scheme for those requiring lawyers when appearing in front of the Royal Commission; and
  • the establishment of a national legal advisory service to provide independent and confidential advice via face-to-face and telephone services for persons engaging, or considering engaging, with the Royal Commission.

The Government is also investigating ways to support pro bono services for small, not-for-profit organisations appearing before the Royal Commission.

This will ensure those engaging with the Royal Commission have access to appropriate legal advice and representation.

Information on how individuals can share their story with the Royal Commission is available by calling 1800 099 340 or visiting the Royal Commission’s website at