HEALING HISTORICAL HARM

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 are moving 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 strengthen our policies and processes and to inform our response to our survivor community ensuring that such interactions are survivor focussed and trauma informed. 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 Recognition Committee and the School’s Survivor Liaison Coordinator (SLC), Renee Handsaker, work has continued consequent upon previous recommendations.

1. Redress Framework
A draft Scheme providing an alternative reparation pathway is before the School Council and the Recognition Committee for consultation. This draft Scheme seeks to capture and transparently articulate Geelong Grammar School’s responsibilities regarding redress, thereby enabling a procedurally fair and accountable approach. In January 2019, the School joined the National Redress Scheme which offers an independent, workable and non-adversarial option for survivors and importantly ensures choice for survivor voice.

2. Child Safety Learning Integration and Response Team
The Child Safety Learning Integration and Response Team meets once a term to provide a whole school approach to keeping the learnings of the Royal Commission at the forefront of our practice. This Committee has worked to date on reviewing current child safety practices, embedding the reportable conduct scheme, providing standards to strengthen our culture and more recently is focussing its work on the enhancement of policies and procedures for our digital environment.

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. In addition, this engagement has provided the opportunity for a facilitated direct personal response which allows the School to acknowledge the harm suffered and to demonstrate a clear, unwavering commitment to keeping our current students safe. The School will again celebrate White Balloon Day on Friday, 6 Septembers 2019 and commit to protecting children from harm. 

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