South Australians who experienced institutional child sexual abuse and their supporters will gather at ceremonial events across the state this morning to mark the National Apology.
The event, which falls during National Children’s Week, will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre where the Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson will deliver a State Apology on behalf of the South Australian Government.
This event will also include the broadcast of the National Apology from Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra.
As well as the Adelaide event, five regional events will also be held in Whyalla, Port Pirie, Berri, Port Augusta and Mount Gambier.
Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said the State Government stood united with the Federal Government in acknowledging and apologising for the pain and suffering that those who were abused experienced in South Australian institutions.
“All children and young people deserve to be safe, happy and healthy, and to be protected from abuse,” said Minister Sanderson.
“Nothing can excuse the horrific sexual abuse that children experienced in institutions that were meant to protect them.
“We recognise the long-term impacts that this abuse has had on the psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing of so many.
“The State Government is committed to providing recognition and access to justice for those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse and takes responsibility for the abuse that occurred in state-run institutions.
“This abuse has impacted people all over the state, and these events will give them an opportunity to come together and have their experiences recognised by the whole country.”
The State Government has committed to taking strong actions to support people who have experienced abuse in the past and to better protect children in the future.
These actions include, but are not limited to, the National Redress Scheme, stronger working with children checks and changes to mandatory notification laws to include religious confessions.
The State and National Apologies are being delivered in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and in line with the commencement of phase 2 of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.
The ABC will broadcast the National Apology from 10.30am (ACDT). Support will be available for anyone who experiences distress at the events.