Scouts Australia, the Salvation Army, YMCA Australia and the Anglican Church are all joining the national redress scheme for child abuse survivors.
Social Services Minister Dan Tehan made an announcement with representatives of all the organisations in Canberra this morning, as the Turnbull Government continues to build the compensation regime.
The Catholic Church yesterday became the first non-government institution to formally opt-in, joining all states and territories except Western Australia.
Mr Tehan said the four institutions signing on today brought the coverage of the national redress scheme to 80 per cent of survivors.
“I thank the institutions for the leadership they have shown, for owning up to past wrongs, owning up for behaviour that can only be described as despicable and deplorable,” Mr Tehan said.
“But [also] for wanting to turn a page, to provide redress and to make sure that the survivors get the justice that they deserve.”
Scouts was among the first non-government organisations to indicate it was likely join the redress scheme.
Its groups have existed in Australia since 1908, and the movement now has about 70,000 members nationwide.
National Scouts Australia co-ordinator Neville Tompkins said the Scouts wanted to ensure the redress scheme would respond to “the complexity of the needs of every survivor”.
“Scouts Australia believes that the [royal commission] has been an important step in making our community safer for all children,” he said.
It has also provided Australia with the necessary framework to recognise the impact these horrific crimes have had on far too many young people.”
Salvation Army’s Brad House said the organisation acknowledged “past practices and procedures led in many cases to the failure of the protection of children”.
“We are profoundly sorry for the harm which survivors have suffered,” he said.
“We also acknowledge we have broken the trust that have has placed by the Australian community in the Salvation Army and we are seeking always to rebuild that.”
The Anglican Church of Australia and the YMCA released statements earlier today announcing their commitment to the scheme.
The Anglican Church is creating a central independent body to handle complaints across all dioceses, schools and agencies — an approach Mr Tehan yesterday praised the Catholic Church for taking because it would make it easier for survivors to access compensation.
“We know that some survivors of abuse have chosen not to engage in our present institutional redress schemes,” Anglican Primate Archbishop Philip Freier said in a statement.
“We hope that our participation in the independent national redress scheme will offer a further step to healing.”
‘Best approach’ says YMCA
YMCA Australia said in a statement the national redress scheme was “the best approach for survivors”.
“The YMCA has always supported the establishment of a national redress scheme and we also recognised the policy and legislative complexity in creating it,” the statement said.
“But fundamentally we needed to make sure all the states and territories were committed to the scheme so that we could join.”
The final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse consists of 17 volumes with the Scouts and YMCA referred to in volume 14 among other recreational groups.
Survivors from all institutions will receive up to $150,000 compensation, along with counselling.
The redress system was a key recommendation of the child sexual abuse royal commission, and is due to start on July 1.
“There is no doubt now that we are reaching the point where we will have a national redress scheme which … the overwhelming majority of survivors will be able to access,” Mr Tehan said yesterday.