The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will deliver its final report in December 2017. While the Royal Commission’s work will come to a close, the needs of our people, communities and organisations will continue to grow.
The Royal Commission has created challenges for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia. For some people it has led to renewed distress caused by recalling the memories of the sexual abuse they experienced as children in institutions. The Royal Commission will result in unprecedented numbers of people – both those who came forward to tell their stories and those who chose not to – seeking support and healing for themselves and their families. Support agencies have expressed concerns that they are not adequately skilled or resourced to respond to the increasing demand for services.
We have attempted to address these issues through our Royal Commission Specialist Support Project. The Project provides specialist training and advice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, assisting them to build culturally based, trauma informed and healing focused practice for individuals, families and communities. In the final two years of this project the Healing Foundation is attempting to raise awareness of the importance of culturally based healing responses and building the capacity, knowledge and skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to safely and effectively respond to those seeking support.
In addition to the project our CEO Richard Weston is a member of the newly established Commonwealth Redress Advisory Council which has been established to provide advice on the design and implementation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme.