“… the fundamental object of redress must be to help those who have suffered to heal and live a productive and fulfilled life”.Justice Peter McClellan, Chair, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Uniting Church in Australia supports a truly independent national redress scheme, which provides justice, certainty, equity, transparency and consistency in redress for all survivors.
The Synod of Western Australia is also committed to doing all we can to provide fair, consistent and compassionate redress measures for survivors who were sexually abused as children while in our care.
National Redress Scheme
On 29 March 2019 the National Redress Scheme finally announced that the Uniting Church in Australia had successfully joined as a Participating Institution and survivors who had been sexually abused in our children’s homes, schools, colleges and community services could now have their applications processed.
In order to join the Scheme, the Uniting Church has established a national vehicle, the UCA Redress Ltd, to handle the redress claims for survivors of child sexual abuse.
Uniting Church in Australia President, Dr Deidre Palmer, has affirmed the Uniting Church’s commitment to the National Redress Scheme and acknowledged the pain caused for survivors who were waiting to access redress through the National Redress Scheme.
“For those who might have been concerned about our commitment, please be assured that we are working to make amends and to ensure that our Church has a strong and robust culture of child safety that empowers children and adults in our care.”
“For anyone who was abused in the care of the Uniting Church, in our churches, schools or agencies, I’d again like to apologise sincerely. I am truly sorry that we didn’t protect and care for you in accordance with our Christian values,”Dr Palmer
We encourage survivors to make an application for redress under the Government’s National Redress Scheme, via the Scheme’s website.
Uniting Church Participating Institutions
You can search for the Uniting Church institutions participating in the National Redress Scheme on the Scheme website.
We encourage survivors to make an application for redress under the Government’s National Redress Scheme.
National Redress Scheme provides:
- A Redress payment
- Access to counselling
- A direct personal response from an institution (e.g. an apology)
Direct Personal Response
A direct personal response provides an opportunity for survivors who participate in the Scheme to have acknowledgement of the abuse from the Uniting Church; for you to share the impact of the abuse in your life; and for a senior representative of the Uniting Church to hear your story and offer an apology.
Hearing from you also helps us to improve current practices and strengthens the safety of children in contact with the Church and its services today and into the future.
Check out this video by Sarah Lim, Director of UCA Redress to find out more about how to take up the offer of a direct personal response in the Uniting Church.
You can also go directly to the UCA Redress website to contact Sarah and/or contact us at the details below.
Services and Support
The Redress Support Service will provide support and assistance to people throughout their engagement with the National Redress process, including:
- individual support for applying for Redress face-to-face or by phone
- referral to other support and legal services
- giving you all the information you need on the National Redress Scheme
- assistance with National Redress application including accessing a Direct Personal Response.
Free legal advice from knowmore which is an independent service assisting survivors of abuse by providing them with information and advice about the justice and redress options that may be available to them. Their specialist counsellors/social workers will support you in obtaining their services. If you require further support, they will also help you to access the most appropriate services. Free advice line 1800 605 762.
Free confidential support can be obtained by ringing a qualified counsellor at the Blue Knot Foundation helpline on: 1300 657 380.
West Australian resource service for adults who were in any type of out-of-home care during childhood, including foster care and children’s Homes. The governing body is Forgotten Australians Coming Together Inc. (FACT).
If you need help urgently, please contact the following 24-hour support services:
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
All enquiries are confidential and are treated in a timely and sensitive way.
Phone: 9260 9800
Mail: Mark correspondence “Confidential – Attn: Culture of Safety Unit”
Uniting Church Western Australia
GPO Box M952
Perth WA 6843
If you require urgent support, contact Lifeline at 13 11 14 or the Police at 000.