The founding principal of two Christian colleges in Victoria, Billanook College and Highview College, is facing historical child sex abuse allegations dating back to his time at the schools, in the 1970s and '80s.
The son of the former head of the Hillsong Church, Pastor Brian Houston, remains under police investigation for failing to report his father’s (Frank Houston) sexual abuse of up to nine children in Australia and New Zealand since the 1970’s.
The Morrison Government has announced that more organisations have signed up to the National Redress Scheme. This includes organisations and institutions such as the Passionist Fathers and Carmelite Fathers (who were both named at the Royal Commission), Legacy Australia, Parkerville Children and Youth Care, and Ballarat and Queen's Anglican Grammar School.
On 22 October 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a speech in Parliament to commemorate the first anniversary of the National Apology given to victims of institutional child sexual abuse following the Final Report by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. At Artemis Legal, we believe that while the speech (among other things) is a step in the right direction towards bringing retribution and tranquility for many victims, there is still a long road ahead for many others for them to put their trauma behind them.
The National Redress Scheme has urged more than 40 organisations including highly prolific organisations such as the AFL, NRL, Swimming Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee to join up to the scheme as a means of demonstrating their commitment to “child-safe practices”.
Survivors of psychological and serious physical abuse in Queensland institutions will be able to sue for damages under new amendments to a bill currently before the Queensland State Parliament. The Civil Liability (Institutional Child Abuse) Amendment Bill 2018, once passed, will provide fair access and outcomes to survivors of child sexual abuse who wish to pursue a claim for civil damages for personal injury arising from the abuse.
Allan Allaway who was made a ward of the State of Queensland in 1941, and who was subjected to 14 years of physical abuse at the hands of the Sisters of Mercy at the infamous Neerkol Orphanage in Rockhampton, has welcomed the coming change in legislation in Qld that will allow victims of institutional physical abuse to seek compensation.
Ex-Anglican Dean Graeme Lawrence has been sentenced for eight years with a minimum of four-and-a-half years for the rape of a 15 year old boy in his deanery in 1991.
Survivor advocate Artemis Legal welcomes the Tasmanian government recent consideration of a bill permitting courts to set aside deeds entered into for childhood sexual abuse on the grounds of it being “just and equitable”. This is one really important step forward for survivors of abuse who have been unfairly compensated through the Towards Healing scheme or other earlier schemes. Recent changes in Tasmanian law regarding limitations has also contributed to the broadening and strengthening rights of survivors.
New South Wales government is currently being pressured to follow in recent legislative changes from Queensland Western Australia and Tasmania regarding the setting aside of deeds for child sexual abuse. Law reform is required to allow deed to be set aside for compensation for earlier child sexual abuse on the grounds of being just and equitable. Many survivors of abuse agreed modest sums of money in return for releasing the church for all claims despite on many occasions there being catastrophic or long-standing psychiatric implications of the abuse. Artemis Legal encourages anyone with a earlier deed of release to contact us for a complete review at no cost.