Positive signs in review of National Redress Scheme

The Healing Foundation welcomes the Final Report of the Second Year Review of the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutionalised child sexual abuse, released today by Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator Anne Ruston.

The Review has concluded that “a significant and urgent reset of the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) is required to deliver on the commitments of governments, provide survivors with an acknowledgment that the abuse should not have occurred, and confirm that the Scheme is a survivor-centred, humane, and less onerous option than civil actions”.

The Healing Foundation CEO Fiona Cornforth said the Review, prepared by Independent Reviewer Ms Robyn Kruk AO, has made 38 recommendations for rapid reform of the Scheme to improve its value to survivors, with the Government announcing that it will take immediate action on 25 of the recommendations.

Ms Cornforth said that truth-telling and reparations are critical to healing for survivors of abuse.

“The Healing Foundation welcomes the Review recommendations and supports urgent action by governments to improve the Scheme so that it is a healing rather than traumatising experience for survivors,” Ms Cornforth said.

“This should include ensuring that all interactions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors are culturally safe.

“The Healing Foundation looks forward to the Federal Government engaging in positive engagement and consultation with survivors and their families, other stakeholders, and the State and Territory Governments on the other redress recommendations of the Review and the Royal Commission,” Ms Cornforth said.

The Healing Foundation welcomes the Australian Government’s advice that it supports:

  • making advance payments to elderly or terminally ill survivors;
  • expanding governments’ role as funders of last resort;
  • developing and implementing a trauma-informed framework to inform all actions, policies, and interactions within the Scheme;
  • enabling survivors to have life-long access to trauma-informed counselling;
  • involving survivors in the ongoing decision-making about the Scheme; and
  • promoting the Scheme in culturally appropriate ways to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors to participate.

Ms Cornforth said The Healing Foundation raised the need for improvements to the Scheme in its submission to the Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of the National Redress Scheme.

“Our suggestions are reflected in the Kruk Review recommendations,” Ms Cornforth said.

The Healing Foundation submission to the Joint Select Committee can be found here: https://healingfoundation.org.au/app/uploads/2020/09/The-Healing-Foundation-Redress-submission-1.pdf

To raise awareness about Stolen Generations survivors, The Healing Foundation shares this animation about the impacts of intergenerational trauma: https://youtu.be/Y-RaB19D13E

The Healing Foundation is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that partners with communities to address trauma caused by the widespread and deliberate disruption of populations, cultures, and languages over 230 years. This includes specific actions like the forced removal of children from their families. 

Media contact: Ben O’Halloran, 0474 499 911 or ben@healingfoundation.org.au

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