What can you apply for?
The National Redress Scheme can help you get access to three things:
- a Redress payment, and
- a direct personal response from an institution (e.g. an apology).
If you receive an offer of redress, you can accept any or all of these things. This is your choice.
Counselling is part of an offer of redress that you can choose to access.
How you access counselling will depend on where you live.
In some states, you will be connected to a free, local service as part of your offer. These services will have expertise in supporting people who have experienced child sexual abuse. You will be able to access a minimum of 20 hours of counselling over your lifetime.
If you live in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory you can be connected to a local counselling service as part of your redress offer at no cost to you.
NSW Victims Services can also provide support people who were abused in NSW with access to free counselling through the Victims Services Approved Counselling Service. If you need support during the redress application process, please contact Victims Services on 1800 633 063 for more information or visit and apply online.
If you live in South Australia or overseas you may receive a lump sum payment of up to $5,000 as part of your offer. This can be used to pay for services in your local area.
When the National Redress Scheme writes to you to offer you redress, the letter will explain how you can access counselling.
Receiving the Offer Letter
The National Redress Scheme will call you and send you a letter about the outcome of your application. If your application for redress is approved, you will receive an offer letter. The offer letter will:
- explain the three components of redress: counselling, a Redress payment and a direct personal response
- specify the amount of redress payment (less the amount of any advance payment, if you were eligible to receive this)
- explain whether you will receive access to counselling and psychological services, or a payment to allow you to access those services privately (and if so, the amount of that payment)
- specify the participating institution(s) found responsible (and if applicable, not responsible) for providing redress
- specify if any responsible institution(s) is part of a participating group, and if so, who their associates are
- explain how the direct personal response from the institution(s) can be arranged (if you wish to do this). When you are ready you can contact the institution(s) to begin the direct personal response process. You can request this at any time during the life of the Scheme
- explain the effect of accepting an offer, that is, that you will be releasing responsible participating institution(s), their officials, and any associates, from civil liability
- provide information about free and confidential legal and financial services that can help you consider the offer
- explain how to accept or decline the offer, request an extension to the acceptance period, or seek a review of the decision, and
- provide the date when you need to tell the Scheme about your decision to accept or decline the offer
More information on counselling arrangements in your state or territory is available.
Payments will be decided on an individual basis. They will range from less than $10,000 through to $150,000.
Any earlier payments related to the abuse will be deducted from your redress payment.
- This includes payments from other redress and victims of crime schemes and out of court settlements.
- Earlier payments will be adjusted to today's value. An annual inflation rate of 1.9% will be used.
- The adjusted amount will be deducted.
- Past payments that were made to support people with medical bills or other items, will not be taken into account for redress.
Redress payments will be:
- exempt from Commonwealth debt recovery
- exempt from income tests relevant to Commonwealth Government payments
- exempt from creditors where a person is bankrupt.
A redress payment can be included as part of the assets test for Commonwealth Government payments.
Direct personal response
A direct personal response will usually involve some form of contact with the institution(s) and may include:
- An apology from the institution(s) which acknowledges your personal experience, and the impact the abuse has had on you
- The institution(s) taking responsibility for what happened
- An explanation by the institution(s) on what they have done, or will do, to stop abuse from happening again.
Different institutions may offer different ways to engage with the direct personal response, which could involve:
- A face-to-face meeting with a representative of the institution(s)
- A meeting with a representative of the institution(s) in a group setting, with other people who also experienced abuse
- A written letter of apology
- A public apology – a wide public acknowledgement of harm done by the institution to survivors of child sexual abuse and their families, or
- Other arrangements, depending on your circumstances and with consultation with the institution(s).
You can choose to have a support person with you throughout your direct personal response. This may be a family member, close friend or someone from a Redress Support Service.
As part of the direct personal response, you may be asked what you hope to achieve from your direct personal response, if you wish to have a support person with you and where and how the direct personal response may occur.
Your offer of redress will have information on how to accept and engage in the direct personal response.
You can also call the Scheme on 1800 737 377 and ask to talk to DPR Information and Support who can provide you with more information about direct personal response. When you are ready to start your direct personal response, they can also help you to contact the institution/s to begin the process.
More information on Direct Personal Response and the DPR Information and Support team.
Words used on this page
- The application is available online or by paper. You can make an application at any time between now and 30 June 2027.
- A child is a person under the age of 18.
- People can apply for this as part of the National Redress Scheme. Depending on where people live they will receive a lump sum to pay for services in their local area or a referral to services.
- Direct Personal Response (DPR)
- People who receive an offer of redress can request a direct personal response from the responsible institution. People may request a face-to-face meeting, either individually or in a group, a written letter, a public apology, or other arrangements depending on their circumstances.
- Independent Decision Maker
- Independent Decision makers will consider applications for redress. They are highly experienced people from a range of backgrounds.
- An institution means an organisation, such as a school, a church, parish, mission, a club, an orphanage or Children’s Home; or government department.
- Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
- When the child sexual abuse occurred, for example, on the premises of an institution, or where activities of an institution took place (such as a camp), or by an official of an institution.
- National Redress Scheme
- The Australian Government set up the National Redress Scheme to provide redress to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The offer of redress can include: access to counselling, a redress payment and a direct personal response.
- Redress means acknowledging harm done. The National Redress Scheme provides counselling, a direct personal response and a Redress payment.
- The National Redress Scheme for people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse. See National Redress Scheme.