National Redress Scheme - Update
This update on the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) covers new arrangements for more institutions to join the Scheme, and recent data on application progress.
This update contains material that could be confronting or distressing. Sometimes words or images can cause sadness or distress or trigger traumatic memories, particularly for people who have experienced past abuse or childhood trauma.
Support is available to help you if you need it. To find out more, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au/support.
Ensuring maximum participation in the Scheme
Under new arrangements agreed by the Australian Government and 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 Scheme must provide a clear written statement setting out their intention to join the Scheme by no later than 30 June 2020. These institutions will be expected to join as soon as possible, but no later than 31 December 2020. This additional time reflects the maximum time needed to complete the on-boarding process and recognises of the changed capacity of many institutions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If by 30 June 2020 an institution has failed to signify its intention to join the Scheme, it will immediately be publicly identified and jurisdictions will consider appropriate action. This may include financial sanctions applied by state, territory or Commonwealth governments, and changes to an organisation's charitable status. Naming institutions is necessary to ensure that people wanting to access the Scheme know the status of relevant institutions.
Where the Scheme receives an application naming a non-participating institution after the 30 June 2020 deadline, the Scheme will contact the institution and the institution will be given six months to join. Should that institution fail to join the Scheme within the six months, the institution will be publicly identified by the Scheme in accordance with Scheme legislation, and jurisdictions may apply other appropriate sanctions. This provides certainty for survivors who were victims of abuse in an institution that has not yet been named, that they can lodge their application at a later date, whilst ensuring that organisations cannot drag out the process of joining, which causes yet more harm to survivors.
In addition, institutions that are already participating in the Scheme will be allowed to add additional institutions to their participating groups after the 30 June 2020 deadline.
These measures ensure as many survivors of institutional child sexual abuse as possible will have access to redress beyond 30 June 2020, whilst ensuring that those institutions that have failed in their duty to survivors by avoiding joining the Scheme are held to account.
To find out which institutions have already joined the Scheme you can search on the Search for Institutions that have joined the Scheme page. This search includes the local sites of all participating institutions, including, for example, individual schools and homes.
Application progress as at 27 March 2020
As of 27 March 2020, the Scheme:
- had received 6,540 applications
- had made 1,883 decisions, including 1,533 payments totalling over $123.3 million
- had made 305 offers of redress, which applicants have six months to consider
- was processing 3,883 applications
- had 869 applications on hold, including 528 because one or more institution named had not yet joined, and about 341 because they required additional information from the applicant.
Find out more
To find out more about the Scheme, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 3 6222 3455 from overseas and leave a message.