Direct personal response
A direct personal response is one of three components of redress under the National Redress Scheme (i.e. a financial payment, access to counselling and a direct personal response).
A direct personal response is an opportunity for you to receive an apology from the institution/s for the harm you experienced as a child. It can also include a description of what the institution/s has done to stop abuse from happening to anyone else.
Many survivors have found a direct personal response to be very important in helping them to achieve a sense of healing and to feel like something is being done to help make things right.
If you apply and receive an offer of redress through the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme), you can choose to have a direct personal response. It is important for you decide whether a direct personal response is right for you. It could be helpful to speak to a support person, such as a friend, family member, counsellor, or Redress Support Service to help you make this decision. You can find a list of Redress Support Services at nationalredress.gov.au/support.
You can also contact the Scheme on 1800 737 377 and ask to speak to DPR Information and Support to discuss your offer of a direct personal response and ask any related questions such as help to contact the institution.
Refer to the Direct personal response fact sheet for further information.
Scheme DPR Information and Support
The Scheme can provide you with more information about direct personal response - what it is, what it can involve, and what it might look like for you.
The Scheme's DPR Information and Support service can also help you to contact the institution or connect you with a Redress Support Service, which can support you during the redress application process and afterwards with your direct personal response.
Call us on 1800 737 377 and ask to speak to DPR Information and Support to talk to someone about your direct personal response.
Requesting a direct personal response
If you apply to the Scheme and receive an offer of redress, a direct personal response will generally also be offered for each responsible institution. To accept all components of your redress offer, you just need to sign and date your acceptance document.
When you sign and date your acceptance document, you will be requesting a direct personal response from all responsible institutions.
If you wish, you can choose not to accept the offer of a direct personal response for a particular institution. However, if you choose this option, you cannot change your mind later on.
Receiving a direct personal response from the institution is always your choice. Even if you accept a direct personal response as part of your offer, you do not need to take up the offer, or can delay, or stop the process at any time.
Starting your direct personal response
If you indicate your interest in a direct personal response in your acceptance documentation, you will receive the details for the contact person in the responsible institution/s.
Should your contact person within the institution change, or contact details get updated, then we will provide these updated details to you.
You will need to make contact with this person to start arranging your direct personal response when you feel ready to do so. If you don’t feel up to contacting the institution yourself, you can ask someone else to do this for you. The institution will want to ensure that the person contacting them has your permission to do so. You may have to provide something or be present in this first contact to state you consent for them to talk to the institution about your direct personal response – the Scheme can help you do this.
It is up to you to decide when to contact the institution to start arranging your direct personal response. You don’t have to do this straight way; you can wait until you feel ready to do so. You can do this at any time up until the end of the Scheme (i.e. 30 June 2028) and you can decline to participate, or withdraw from the process at any time.
Arranging the direct personal response
After you, or someone on your behalf (your nominee, support person or the Scheme) makes first contact with the institution, it is likely that you will work with the contact person at the institution over a period of time to determine what you hope to achieve, if you have cultural needs or other specific needs that need to be considered, and who else may be involved in your direct personal response.
The institution will talk to you or your support person about the arrangements for the direct personal response and will confirm the details with you.
Who can be my support person?
You can choose to have a support person with you throughout the stages of arranging and participating in your direct personal response. This may be a family member, close friend or someone from one of the Redress Support Services.
Delaying or stopping a direct personal response
Participating in a direct personal response is entirely your choice.
If you have started arranging your direct personal response but then change your mind or need more time to consider what you want, you can ask your contact person at the institution to delay the process or stop it altogether.
There is no obligation for you to attend any meetings relating to the direct personal response or make decisions relating to the process if you do not feel ready to do so.
The responsible institution must pay for reasonable costs involved in the direct personal response, such as travel and accommodation.
Everything that occurs in a direct personal response must remain confidential, unless:
- all participants agree otherwise, or
- information is raised that suggests a threat to someone’s health and safety.
If any information relating to a direct personal response needs to be disclosed by the institution, this should be agreed with you first.
More information on privacy under the Scheme.