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Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations
13 NOVEMBER 2013 — E&OE Committee Members' Final Report tabling speeches
13 NOVEMBER 2013 — Significant legislative changes recommended by Committee
11 NOVEMBER 2013 — Child abuse final report to be tabled on Wednesday
27 AUGUST 2013 — Child abuse reporting deadline extended
17 MAY 2013 — Call for last evidence
15 APRIL 2013 — Chair's statement regarding incorrect publication of transcript
18 FEBRUARY 2013 — Reporting deadline extended
11 JANUARY 2013 — Media comment regarding Royal Commission Terms of Reference
28 NOVEMBER 2012 — December hearing dates announced
13 NOVEMBER 2012 — Media comment regarding announcement of Royal Commission
12 NOVEMBER 2012 — Media comment regarding announcement of Royal Commission
10 OCTOBER 2012 — First submissions on website
2 OCTOBER 2012 — First hearing dates announced
21 SEPTEMBER 2012 — Submissions close today
21 AUGUST 2012 — Submission deadline extended
12 JULY 2012 — Submission guide available
18 JUNE 2012 — Call for submissions
Strengthening the criminal law, making access to civil litigation easier for victims and establishing a new independent avenue for justice are some of the key recommendations in the final report of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations, tabled today.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier, MP hoped the recommendations would help victims to pursue justice more easily and provide a foundation for protecting our children into the future.
'The criminal abuse of children involves extremely serious breaches of the laws of our community,' Ms Crozier said. 'When it happens in our society's most trusted organisations, it is a betrayal beyond comprehension.'
'Those who engage in it, or are in positions of authority and conceal such offences, should be dealt with under the criminal law.
'In the past, crimes have been covered up and organisations have prioritised their reputation and finances, but no more.'
You can download the full media release below.
The final report of the Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations is expected to be tabled on Wednesday 13 November 2013.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier, MP expects to table the report at approximately 9.40am (subject to other Parliamentary business) and will deliver a short speech in the Legislative Council.
People are welcome to see the report being tabled in person at Parliament House or they can watch proceedings via the usual live webcast of parliamentary proceedings on the Parliament House website at www.parliament.vic.gov.au.
Obtaining a copy of the report
An electronic copy of the report will be available on the homepage of the Parliament of Victoria’s website (www.parliament.vic.gov.au) as soon as possible after it has been tabled. We expect this may take approximately one hour.
A limited number of hard copies of the report will be available on the day from Parliament House.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier, MP said a further request to extend the reporting deadline for the Victorian Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations has been granted, moving from 30 September 2013 to 15 November 2013.
‘We are acutely aware of how important this Inquiry is for victims and that they are awaiting our report with anticipation,’ Ms Crozier said.
Ms Crozier said that during deliberations the Committee had sought additional information and the analysis of some matters continues.
‘Deliberations are progressing well and it was a unanimous decision of the Committee to seek this extension,’ she said.
With scheduled hearings for the Victorian child abuse Inquiry ending soon, the Committee will not be able to accept any further written submissions after 7 June 2013 as they will move onto the next phase of the Inquiry.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier MP, said although the formal deadline for accepting submissions was 21 September 2012, the Committee had used its discretion to accept late submission on a case-by-case basis since then.
“It has been in the best interest of the Inquiry to accept late submissions and we have accepted all written submissions made to us to date,” Ms Crozier said.
“We always anticipated that as the Inquiry progressed, and as more and more people felt engaged by the evidence coming out of the hearings, that additional people would want to share information with us.”
The Committee has to date received 405 written submissions. The total number of hearing sessions conducted is more than 160, including 45 organisations that have appeared in public hearings from a range of religious and other non-government organisations. The remaining hearings included sessions with victims, their families, whistleblowers, experts, and other professionals. Of these, just less than half were held in-camera.
The final two scheduled public hearings are on Monday 20 May and Monday 27 May and then the Committee will move to deliberations. The reporting deadline for the Inquiry is 30 September 2013.
CHAIR'S STATEMENT 15 APRIL 2013 — Statement regarding incorrect publication of transcript from 25 March 2013 hearing
On 25 March a hearing transcript of evidence was suppressed and subsequently published on the Committee website in error. On learning of this error, the transcript was immediately removed from the website.
The evidence provided to the Committee by Mrs Noreen Wood on that date contained a number of allegations about individuals, which was subsequently suppressed on the basis that it contained adverse reference to individuals that did not fall within the terms of reference of the Inquiry.
In view of this, the evidence remains suppressed and will not inform the Committee's findings and recommendations.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier, MP
MEDIA RELEASE 18 FEBRUARY 2013 — Reporting deadline extended for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier, MP said a request to extend the reporting deadline for the Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations has been granted.
The announcement was made by Ms Crozier in an opening statement at public hearings in Geelong on Friday 15 February.
As you are aware, our Inquiry is making significant progress and is continuing with visiting different parts of Victoria, hearing the testimony of victims and other interested parties. These are in addition to the hearings we are conducting in Melbourne. We are pleased that the work we have done in our Inquiry has been a major contributing factor to the establishment of the Royal Commission and we look forward to working collaboratively with them.
We have yet to hear - in public sessions - from representatives from several organisations. We will do so over the coming months and after further investigations are completed. This leads us to the issue of timing and our existing April 30 reporting date. I have always said that our Committee was focused on conducting a thorough Inquiry, not a hasty one, and I'm pleased to announce that our request to extend our reporting deadline to September 30 has been granted.
We have a strong team working in the Secretariat to support the Committee. To date we have had more than 60 people give evidence at public hearings, others have been heard in camera. We have received 370 submissions - over 80 of which are now published on the website - with many more (both public and confidential) being analysed. Our research, investigations and information gathering continues behind the scenes and the parallel processes we have set up also continue to operate. Victoria Police’s Taskforce Sano, set up during the course of this Inquiry, made several arrests last week.
We are all making progress and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who have had the courage to come forward and share your story – your commitment to seek change and accountability on this issue has played a big role in this Inquiry. Thank you for your determination.
- Ms Georgie Crozier, MP, Committee Chair
Next hearings are scheduled today in Melbourne and in Ballarat on Thursday 28 February.
From Ms Georgie Crozier MP, Committee Chair
"The scale and scope of the Royal Commission is vast and will take some time to establish and get underway. In Victoria we have already made significant progress with our Inquiry and we will continue with our work."
MEDIA ALERT 28 NOVEMBER 2012 — December hearing dates announced for Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
Hearing dates for the remainder of 2012 have been released for the Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations.
The first hearing outside Melbourne will be held at the Mechanics’ Institute in Ballarat next Friday 7 December 2012. The Committee anticipates it will return to Ballarat early next year as there are a large number of victims to hear from in the region.
There will also be hearings in Melbourne on 10 and 17 December.
From Ms Georgie Crozier MP, Committee Chair
"The Inquiry's work thus far has bought to light important revelations that have been key to the Federal Government deciding to call a royal commission."
"From our part, a significant amount of work has already been undertaken and there is more we can achieve but we obviously need further detail of the federal inquiry including its terms of reference before making any changes to our work."
From a spokesperson for the Committee
"The Premier has tonight released a statement saying that the Victorian Government will work to appropriately bring together the work of the Victorian Parliamentary Committee's inquiry and the federal inquiry."
"The Committee has already undertaken a significant amount of work and until we receive further detail of the Commonwealth's approach, we will continue to progress our work on this important issue."
MEDIA ALERT 10 OCTOBER 2012 — First submissions on website for Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
Submissions prepared by organisations to the Family and Community Development Committee’s Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations will be posted on the website today.
Consistent with the usual practice of Parliamentary Inquiries, Committee members will not be commenting on individual submissions or the Inquiry outside of hearings.
MEDIA ALERT 2 OCTOBER 2012 — First hearing dates announced for Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
Hearing dates in October for the Family and Community Development Committee’s Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations are as follows:
- Friday 19 October ‐ full day of hearings
- Monday 22 October ‐ half day of hearings, in the afternoon
Both hearings will open to the public and held in the Legislative Council Committee Room on level 1 at Parliament House.
Details of witnesses to appear before the Committee on these days will be posted on the Inquiry website closer to the hearing dates.
MEDIA RELEASE 21 SEPTEMBER 2012 — Submissions close today for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
Submissions to the Family and Community Development Committee on the Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations close today.
Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier MP said the Committee would now begin the formal process of accepting submissions and finalising the hearing schedule for 2012.
‘The next stage of the Inquiry will involve the Committee analysing submissions and gathering further evidence from key witnesses through its hearing process,’ Ms Crozier said.
‘We anticipate hearings will be held in Melbourne and in regional areas from October and into 2013.'
MEDIA RELEASE 21 AUGUST 2012 — Submission deadline extended for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
The Family and Community Development Committee today announced an extension to the submission deadline for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations.
The Family and Community Development Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier MP, said submissions are now due Friday 21 September, a three week extension to the original deadline.
"The Committee wants to make sure anyone who wants their story to be heard has the time and support needed to get their submission in," Ms Crozier said.
"We want the Committee to be as well informed as possible before the hearings commence."
Dates and locations of hearings for 2012 will be announced shortly.
MEDIA RELEASE 12 JULY 2012 — Submission guide available for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse
The Family and Community Development Committee has released a Submission Guide for the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations.
The Family and Community Development Committee has called for Submission to the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations.