HEALING HISTORICAL HARM

Geelong Grammar School appeared before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in September and October 2015.

There is a significant responsibility for the School to acknowledge and learn from the hurt of the past, and to help guide our pledge to protect the present and future wellbeing and safety of our children.

We need to move forward by recognising the devastating impacts and effects of childhood sexual abuse and by never losing sight of the learnings from them. Thus far, we have used the learnings of the Royal Commission, in addition to our own experience, to further strengthen our policies and processes. Looking ahead, there is more work to be done to help our community heal, and to enable practices that support a culture which fortifies against such devastating harms.

With this purpose in mind, and through extensive consultation, including with the Chair of the Recognition Committee, Dr David Moore, and the School’s Survivor Liaison Coordinator (SLC), Renee Handsaker, three recommendations have recently been ratified by the School Council.

1. Redress Framework

Publish (via the GGS website) the School’s Redress Framework, articulating our principles and practices regarding redress for survivors of historical child sexual abuse, including our in-principle commitment to join the National Redress Scheme, which offers an independent, workable and non-adversarial option for survivors. The Framework will transparently articulate Geelong Grammar School’s responsibilities regarding redress, thereby enabling a procedurally fair and accountable approach.

2. Child Safety Learning Integration and Response Team

Expand the current staff Child Safety Committee into a Child Safety Learning and Response Team. This Team will provide a whole school approach to keep the learnings of the Royal Commission at the forefront of our practice; reviewing current child safety practices, engaging a range of experts to assess and evolve our practices, and providing standards to strengthen our culture.

3. Healing and Recognition Ceremonies

Explore possibilities for community-level healing and recognition. These ceremonies can provide an active and compassionate response to those survivors who wish to engage with the School and for the School to express publicly its deep regret for the harm of the past.

 

This section of our website will be updated with further information about the School's approach to child safety and healing historical harm in the coming months.