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Table of Contents

  1. Sometimes the smile on a child’s face can brighten a whole community.
  2. Innocent Survivors
  3. 8 phenomenal portraits and stories of survivors of wrongful conviction
  4.

WTI also seeks ways to support death row survivors and their loved ones as they confront the challenges of life after exoneration. A country that joins more than other nations in abolishing the death penalty in law or in practice. A country that grants fair and speedy compensation to the wrongfully convicted. Witness to Innocence's exonerated death row survivor speakers are educational, accessible, and above all inspirational. But most amazing of all is their sheer goodness and integrity that keeps them from bitterness and a desire for revenge.

Simply by being in their presence changes your life forever.


Regardless of you stand on the death penalty, their unique and powerful stories should be heard by all. We want to thank our funders for their generous support. I was robbed of my day in court. I wanted to tell the world what he did. That was him again, taking control. Mr Speaker, today, as a nation, we confront our failure to listen, to believe and to provide justice. To the spouses, partners, wives, husbands and children who have dealt with the consequences of the abuse, cover-ups and obstruction, sorry.

  1. Aktanten im Französischen (German Edition).
  2. See a Problem?.
  3. Exoneree Keith Hardin on Freedom, the New Year and Taking Each Day as It Comes.
  4. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. What If? Changing Your Life to Fit Your Truth.
  6. Scott Morrison's national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse?

They said to me that an apology without action is just a piece of paper and it is. And today they also wanted to hear about our actions. In outlining our actions, I want to recognise the work of my predecessors, former Prime Minister Gillard, who is with us here today, and I thank you for your attendance. I want to thank them for their compassion and leadership as they also confronted these terrible failings. The foundations of our actions are the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission, initiated by Prime Minister Gillard.

The steady compassionate hand of the Commissioners and staff resulted in 17, survivors coming forward and nearly 8, of them recounting their abuse in private sessions of the Commission.

Sometimes the smile on a child’s face can brighten a whole community.

We are all grateful to the survivors who gave evidence to the Commission. It is because of your strength and your courage that we are gathered here today. The Scheme is about recognising and alleviating the impact of past abuse, and providing justice for survivors. The Scheme will provide survivors with access to counselling and psychological services, monetary payments, and, for those who want one — and I stress for those who want one — a direct personal response from an institution where the abuse occurred.

It will mean — that after many years, often decades, of denials and cover-ups — the institutions responsible for ruining lives admit their wrongdoing and the terrible damage they caused. The National Office of Child Safety is another big step forward to ensuring the prevention and detection of child abuse, wherever it occurs. It will reside within the portfolio of Prime Minister and Cabinet, as it should. The Minister for Social Services will assist me in this role, including reporting to me on the progress of Royal Commission recommendations and the activities of the Office of Child Safety.

Importantly, children themselves are being empowered to participate in these initiatives — because our children must be heard, and when it comes to the work of safety, it must be approachable and child friendly. They must know who they can tell, and they must be believed, and they must know where they can go. We are ensuring children across the world are protected by stopping child sex offenders from travelling overseas without permission, which will disrupt, prevent and investigate the abuse of children globally.

And we recognise that as survivors age, those who were abused in or by an institution, have real fears about entering into aged care facilities. And to assist with lasting change we recognise that there are many more survivors who were abused in other settings such as their own homes and in their communities, who will not be covered by this redress scheme.

These survivors also need to be heard, and believed, and responded to with services to address their needs. So today, I commit to fund the establishment of a National Centre of Excellence, and I call on the states and territories to work as partners in this venture. This Centre will be the place to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse, to deal with the stigma, to support help seeking and guide best practice for training and other services.

We are now actively working on of the recommendations that were addressed to the Commonwealth. The 18 remaining are being closely examined, in consultation with states and territories.

Innocent Survivors

Today we commit that from December this year, we will report back to the Australian people, through the Parliament, to be held accountable each year, each year, on the progress we are making on the recommendations over the next five years and then beyond. And the institutions which perpetrated this abuse, covered it up and refused to be held accountable, must be kept on the hook.

Already, many of those organisations have made their own apologies and have signed up to be a part of the National Redress Scheme, as they should. But there are others yet to join, and today I simply say that justice, decency and the beliefs and values we share as Australians, insists that they sign on. Today I also commit to establishing a National Museum, a place of truth and commemoration, to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse.

8 phenomenal portraits and stories of survivors of wrongful conviction

We will work with survivor groups, to ensure your stories are recorded, that your truth is told, that our nation does not turn from our shame, and that our Nation will never forget the untold horrors you experienced. Through this we will endeavour to bring some healing to our nation and to learn from our past horrors. We can never promise a world where there are no abusers.

But we can promise a country where we commit to hear and believe our children. Mr Speaker, I present the formal apology to be tabled in this Parliament today, which will be handed to those in the Great Hall shortly. It reflects all of the sentiments that I have expressed on behalf of the Australian people, this Parliament and our government.

And as I table that and, as I do, I simply say: Your country believes you. Scott Morrison's national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.


The Sydney Morning Herald. Mr Speaker, let me first welcome all those who have come here today.

Sunny Jacobs

Mr Speaker, silenced voices. Muffled cries in the darkness. Today, Australia confronts a trauma — an abomination — hiding in plain sight for far too long. Today, we confront a question too horrible to ask, let alone answer. Why was their trust betrayed? Why did those who know cover it up? Why were the cries of children and parents ignored? Why was our system of justice blind to injustice? Why has it taken so long to act?

Why were other things more important than this, the care of innocent children? Why didn't we believe? A sorry that dare not try and make sense of the incomprehensible or think it could. A sorry that does not insult with an incredible promise.