NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME

Geelong Grammar School has entered the National Redress Scheme as part of a multi-faceted approach to providing acknowledgement and support to people who experienced child sexual abuse.

The National Redress Scheme was created in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. The Scheme commenced on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years.

The Scheme is one available avenue for people who experienced child sexual abuse at Geelong Grammar School to seek redress for harm and hurt, and to be provided with acknowledgement and support to assist them move forward in a way that is right for them. The Scheme can provide applicants with counselling, the opportunity for a direct personal response and a redress payment.

The School is also developing its own Redress Framework, to give those who experienced harm at our School another means of redress. This provides survivors with choice and the opportunity to determine the manner in which they wish to seek redress and engagement with the School.

“I believe there is a significant responsibility for the School to acknowledge and learn from the hurt of the past. This will help guide our pledge to ensure the present and future wellbeing and safety of our children,” Principal, Rebecca Cody, said.

“Through hearing the voice of survivors, inspired by their courage to speak about their experiences at Geelong Grammar School, I am resolute that our ongoing approach to child safety and healing historical harm is proactive and is embedded in our systems and culture.”

“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 and we are strengthening our resolve towards healing with a survivor focused purpose.”

Since the Royal Commission, the School has taken a number of significant steps to address the hurt and harm caused, including establishing a Recognition Committee, appointing a Survivor Liaison Coordinator, establishing a Survivor Engagement Committee of School Council, participating in White Balloon Day to break the silence on child sexual assault and expanding the School’s Child Safety Committee into a Child Safety Learning and Response Team to review and evolve the School’s child safety practices.

The School continues to provide the services of an independent counsellor, Pauline Ryan, for anyone within our community who may benefit from counselling or support in regard to 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.

For more information about the National Redress Scheme visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.

Once finalised, information about Geelong Grammar School’s Redress Framework will be published on the Healing Historical Harm section of the School website.