The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today welcomed the tabling and public release of the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings.
“The Commission of Inquiry represents a momentous event in our history and in the way we see, listen to, and value children and keep them safe,” Ms McLean said.
“Today, I have received a copy of the Commission’s final report for the first time, and will now carefully examine the full report, its findings, and recommendations.
“It is already abundantly clear that implementation of the Commission’s recommendations will require major investment and significant cultural change. This will require bravery and determination from Government to do things differently and in the best interests of children.
“I welcome the Commission’s recommendation to establish a new independent statutory Commission for Children and Young People with broader and clearer functions. I look forward to working with Government to inform its design and implementation.
“I also welcome the Government’s commitment to establish an independent Child Sexual Abuse Reform Implementation Monitor to assess, evaluate and report on progress in implementing all of the Commission’s recommendations.
“The Commission’s report and recommendations promise to be transformative of children’s safety, rights and wellbeing, and I am determined to keep this and any successive governments accountable for the delivery of the recommendations in a timely and sustainable manner. In the months and years ahead, now that the Commission of Inquiry’s work is done, we must make sure its recommendations remain front of mind.
“I express my deep and sincere gratitude to the many victim-survivors of child sexual abuse in Tasmania who came forward to courageously share their experiences with the Commission of Inquiry and the broader Tasmanian community.
“I also acknowledge with deep respect those victim-survivors who did not participate in the Inquiry. I acknowledge the ongoing impact of child sexual abuse on children, their families and friends.”
Ms McLean highlighted and expressed her deep gratitude to the children and young people who contributed their views to the Commission’s work.
“You have the right to feel safe and to be safe, no matter where you are, and I am so sorry that your rights were not upheld.
“For those who have participated, your bravery and resilience sets the example to all Tasmanians with responsibility to protect and uphold the rights and wellbeing of children and young people.
“The Commission of Inquiry showed us that Tasmanian children and young people are entitled to and deserve better from Government institutions. As Commissioner, I will continue to listen to the voices of children and young people and ensure their voices are heard.”
Anyone who is aware of allegations of child abuse has a duty to report this abuse to the appropriate authorities, including the Strong Families Safe Kids Advice and Referral Line on 1800 000 123 and to Tasmania Police. In an emergency, always call 000.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, there are services available. Some options include:
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- 1800 Respect
- Lifeline on 13 11 14
- Sexual Assault Support Service 1800 697 877
- National Redress Scheme Information Line 1800 146 713
- Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
A list of support services is also available on the Commission of Inquiry’s website – Support (commissionofinquiry.tas.gov.au).
Note – The Commissioner is unavailable for further media comment at this time.