Our Principal, Ms Rebecca Cody, has extended her wholehearted support to the Prime Minister’s National Apology to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, many of whom so bravely shared their stories through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"Since commencing as Principal of Geelong Grammar School six months ago, I have continued to meet with survivors of abuse where I have shared the Prime Minister’s sentiments; to simply say, I believe you, we believe you, your community believes you," Rebecca said.

"Through hearing the voice of survivors, inspired by their courage to speak about their experiences at Geelong Grammar School, I remain resolute that our ongoing approach to child safety is proactive and is embedded in our systems and culture," she explained. "The strength and hope of survivors continues to enable our community’s journey towards healing; to move forward by recognising the devastating impacts and effects of childhood sexual abuse and by never losing sight of the learnings from them. We have used and will continue to use the learnings of the Royal Commission, in addition to our own experience and considered reflection of the School’s past practices and processes. Consequently, we are evolving our approach, strengthening our resolve towards healing, with a survivor focused purpose."

The School continues to provide the services of an independent counsellor, Pauline Ryan, for anyone in our community who would benefit from counselling or support about issues of childhood sexual abuse. Pauline can be contacted directly during business hours by calling 1800 799 139. The School’s Survivor Liaison Coordinator, Renee Handsaker, continues to provide outreach and support to survivors of childhood sexual abuse, as well as former and current staff. Renee can be contacted directly on 0432 707 355 or via email: renee@sustainingconversations.com. We will be continually updating a dedicated section of our School website with further information about our approach to child safety and healing historical harm.

"I thank the Prime Minister for his National Apology to the victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse," Rebecca said. "We know we cannot undo the failures of the past, yet together we can recognise the pain caused, and together, we can make sure that such trauma is never repeated."