National Redress Scheme – Update
This National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) update includes details on the Government’s Final Response of the Second Year Review, more information on the special assessment process for serious criminal convictions, the Scheme’s application processing and participating institutions.
The 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.
If you need immediate support, 24-hour telephone assistance is available through:
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
Final Response of the Second Year Review
On 4 May 2023, the Government released the final response of the Second Year Review of the National Redress Scheme. The report can be found here: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/about/second-anniversary-review.
The final response indicates the Australian Government’s commitment to improving the Scheme and ensuring it is trauma-informed.
The additional improvements reflected in the Final Response include:
- offering reassessment of an application if a relevant institution subsequently joins the scheme;
- removing the restrictions on people applying from prison;
- making changes to the process related to Serious Criminal Convictions to reduce the number of people required to go through the full special assessment process;
- combining separate payments to simplify the assessment process and ensure all redress outcomes recognise the impact of the abuse survivors experienced;
- changing the internal review processes to allow additional information to be provided by applicants as part of a review of their redress outcome; and
- further expanding access to redress for former child migrants.
All proposed Scheme improvements are subject to legislative change, to be agreed with state and territory governments. More information is available at the Department of Social Services website and the National Redress Scheme website.
Special assessment process for people with serious criminal convictions
The Scheme has a special assessment process for people with serious criminal convictions. A person has a serious criminal conviction if they have been sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or longer for an offence against a law of the Commonwealth, a State, a Territory or a foreign country. To start the special assessment process, a person needs to complete the Serious Criminal Conviction Additional Information Form. The form asks for information so the Scheme can undertake a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (NCCHC).
There are certain identity requirements a person must meet for the NCCHC process. There are two ways a person can meet these identity requirements:
- A person can verify their identity through Centrelink.
- If a person is unable to verify their identity through Centrelink, a person must provide three certified copies of identification documents, including:
- one commencement of identity document,
- one primary use in the community identity document, and
- one secondary use in the community identity document.
Further information is available at Serious Criminal Convictions | National Redress Scheme.
As at 28 April 2023, there have been 25,546 applications to the Scheme. We have contacted 12,811 applicants to advise them of the outcome of their application.
Of all applications:
- 12,007 have been finalised (determined as either eligible or ineligible, with offers of Redress either accepted or declined)
- 11,466 payments have been made totalling approximately $1.014 billion dollars
- 837 have been withdrawn by the applicant
- 12,702 applications are on hand with the Scheme, of which:
- 735 are with applicants, awaiting a decision on their offer of Redress
- 999 are with institutions, awaiting a response to a Request For Information
- 2,922 are on hold (for reasons such as at the request of the applicant; where further information has been requested from the applicant; where there is difficulty contacting the applicant or due to a non-participating institution)
- 8,046 are in progress with the Scheme, of which:
- 5,272 are being actioned
- 2,774 are temporarily unable to be actioned (for reasons such as awaiting contact from the applicant, or awaiting extra information).
Participating institutions update
The government encourages all institutions who have a history of interacting with children to sign up to the Scheme as soon as possible.
Declaration 2 of 2023, signed by the Minister on 18 April 2023, includes institutions that are now participating in the Scheme. This declaration is available via the Federal Register of Legislation. https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2023N00093
For the latest information about institutions, visit our website: https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/institutions.
Find out more
For further information about the Scheme, go to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377 from Australia or +61 2 6222 3455 from overseas.
For regular updates about the Department of Social Services and the Scheme, you can ‘like’ or ‘follow’ the Australian Families Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FamiliesInAustralia/.