Children in State Care Apology

Ministerial Statement

On 22 October 2018, the national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse was delivered by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, from the House of Representatives at Parliament House, Canberra. Apology events were subsequently held across Australia to mark the significance of the day and to acknowledge that more needs to be done to prevent and protect children from sexual abuse in institutions.

I would like to thank the Hon. Rachel Sanderson MP, Minister for Child Protection, who hosted an event yesterday acknowledging those who experienced abuse here in South Australia in our institutions. I am very proud that our Premier prioritised the signing of the National Redress Scheme soon after forming his government, which is now in the process of being commenced, and also established a ministerial role solely dedicated to child protection. As the Prime Minister stated to the Australian parliament yesterday, and I quote:

The scheme is about recognising and alleviating the impact of past abuse and providing justice for survivors. The scheme will provide survivors with access to counselling and psychological services, monetary payments and, for those who want one—I stress 'for those who want one'—a direct personal response from the institution where the abuse occurred. It will mean that, after many years, often decades, of denials and cover-ups, the institutions responsible for ruining the lives admit their wrongdoing and the terrible damage they caused.

Yesterday was an historic day for victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and also marked the full commencement of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act in South Australia, enshrining the principles of children's safety and wellbeing in our laws. I put this government's full support behind the initiatives of the commonwealth, which expand upon those at a South Australian level, including primarily the Prime Minister taking direct responsibility for child protection and the response to the national royal commission.