On 28 April, the Australian Government announced that all state and territory governments, institutions named in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse or in an application received by the National Redress Scheme (NRS) must provide a clear written statement setting out their intention to join the NRS by no later than 30 June 2020. These institutions will be expected to join the NRS as soon as possible, but no later than 31 December 2020.
The number of institutions participating in the Australian National Redress Scheme (NRS) has more than doubled as more institutions have completed the necessary steps to join the NRS.
As at 6 February 2020, 162 non-government institutions are now participating in the NRS – up from 67 last year, in addition to the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
On 29 November 2019, the Australian Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, hosted the Ministers Redress Scheme Governance Board, which is a meeting of the relevant Ministers with responsibility for the National Redress Scheme (NRS) in their state or territory.
Those in attendance noted that while redress has been paid to several hundred survivors to date (975 as of 03/01/2020) the administration of the NRS is not providing the fast, simple and trauma-informed response survivors deserve.
The Australian National Redress Scheme (NRS) published an update yesterday (28/10/2019).
In that update it advised that as of the 4 October 2019 the NRS had:
- Received over 5,040 applications
- Made around 750 decisions
- Of those 750 decisions the NRS has made 638 payments, totalling over AUS$51.3 million
- The NRS had also made over 100 offers of redress, and applicants have six months to consider their offer of redress
- The NRS is currently processing over 3,300 applications, with 618 applications on hold because one or more institution named in the application had not yet joined and about 300 applications requiring additional information from the applicant.
As of 4 October, the average payment under the NRS was AUS$80,019.
From 1 July 2019 to 4 October 2019, 405 applications were finalised, resulting in 399 payments.
This shows that the NRS have improved the rate at which it is making decisions as they have finished more applications since July this year than they did for the first twelve months of its existence.
As of 4 October, there were 61 non-government institutions participating in the NRS, covering over 41,300 individual sites, such as churches, schools and clubs.
In September, a number of new institutions, organisations and religious orders completed the necessary steps to join the Scheme.
The following institutions have completed the steps to join the Scheme:
- Ballarat and Queen’s Anglican Grammar School
- The Carmelite Fathers Incorporated (Vic)
- Legacy Australia Incorporated (this does not include all the Legacy Clubs in Australia, the primary purpose of Legacy Australia Incorporated is the care of dependants of those who served their country; namely, veterans who gave their lives or health on operational service or subsequently, and Australian Defence Force members who die in service or as a result of their service)
- Parkerville Children and Youth Care Inc
- The Trustees of the Passionist Fathers
The additions to the Anglican Church of Australia participating group are:
- All Saints’ College Inc
- Arden Anglican School
- Barker Barang
- Blue Mountains Grammar School Limited
- Campbelltown Anglican Schools Council
- The Corporate Trustees of the Diocese of Armidale
- The Corporate Trustees of the Diocese of Grafton
- Governors of Hale School
- Launceston Church Grammar School
- The Society of the Sacred Advent Schools Pty Ltd as trustee for The Society of the Sacred Advent – St Aidan’s Trust (St Aidan’s Anglican Girls School)
- The Society of the Sacred Advent Schools Pty Ltd as trustee for The Society of the Sacred Advent – St Margaret’s Trust (St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School)
- The Synod of the Diocese of The Murray of the Anglican Church of Australia Incorporated
- Trinity College Gawler Inc
The addition to the Baptist Churches of Victoria participating group is:
- Warracknabeal Baptist Church.
The addition to the Salesian Society (Vic) participating group is:
- Boys’ Town Engadine.
The additions to the Uniting Church in Australia participating group are:
- Aitken College Limited (Vic)
- Billanook College Limited (Vic)
- Blackheath Home, Oxley (Qld)
- Fahan School (Tas)
- The Geelong College (Vic)
- Haileybury (Vic)
- Kingswood College Limited (Vic)
- Methodist Ladies’ College (Vic)
- Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (Vic)
- Pilgrim School Inc (SA)
- Prince Alfred College (SA)
- Scotch College (Vic)
- The Scots School Albury (Vic)
- UnitingCare Wesley Bowden (SA)
- Uniting Communities Incorporated (SA)
- Uniting Country SA Ltd.
Written by Sharon Moohan, partner at BLM
Whilst the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England & Wales focuses its attention on reviewing legal processes available to deliver reparation to victims and survivors of abuse, and in particular to consider whether the law (such as the statute of Limitations) should be changed, we can see the impact a change in the law can have in other jurisdictions.
As readers of our blog will be aware the Australian National Redress Scheme opened for applications on the 1 July, 2018 and it will remain open for 10 years.
When the Government committed to establishing the National Redress Scheme (NRS) it was expected that there would be 60,000 to 65,000 applicants and that the redress payments and associated benefits would cost somewhere in the region of AUS$4.38 billion.
The latest update from the National Redress Scheme (NRS) in Australia which was published last week advises that on 18 April 2019, the following institutions joined the Scheme:
- Benedictine Community of New Norcia
- Child and Family Services Ballarat (CAFS)
- Scouts Tasmania
- Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Schools
The fifth group of Anglican organisations have also joined, represented by Anglican Representative Limited. They are:
- Anglican Diocese of Armidale
- Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn
- Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta
- Anglicare North Queensland
- Anglicare Victoria
On the 19 June the Australian Parliament passed legislation to establish the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, ensuring the scheme can begin on 1 July 2018. Continue reading
On the 10th May, 2018 the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) legislation was introduced to the Parliament for Australia. This legislation replaces the Commonwealth legislation previously introduced and this allow for States and territories that join the Scheme to participate under law. Continue reading