The President of the Uniting Church in Australia, Stuart McMillan (pictured), has welcomed opposition leader Bill Shorten’s commitment to a national redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions.
Mr McMillan said a national scheme, a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, will provide the best opportunity for justice for survivors.
“For our part the Uniting Church will continue our work to make amends for the wrongs in our past,” he said.
“In consultation with any survivors of sexual abuse in our care, we will seek to make amends for what happened and identify how we can best offer support into the future.
“We will also continue to apply the lessons learned from the Royal Commission to improve our practices and processes to make our Church the safest place for children it can possibly be.”
UnitingCare Australia also welcomed broader commitment to establishing a national redress scheme, describing the scheme as a critical step towards justice and healing.
“UnitingCare Australia supports a national scheme and commends the Australian Labor Party for making this significant step forward,” Lin Hatfield Dodds, national director of Uniting Care Australia, said.
Ms Hatfield Dodds reaffirmed UnitingCare’s commitment to contributing significant funding towards a redress scheme.
“In order to fully establish a redress scheme UnitingCare Australia believes it is both just and reasonable that the cost of compensation be met by governments and institutions where abuse took place.
“This issue transcends politics,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
“To achieve justice for survivors, governments and non-government organisations will need to come together to deliver an effective national redress scheme. We stand ready to contribute and call on all Australian governments to step up to play their part also.”
The Government has said it will consider the royal commission’s recommendations and consult with state and territories before committing to a response.