From Ballarat Mayor, Cr Samantha McIntosh –
The court has reached its decision after following due process and this needs to be respected.
Our focus needs to be on the survivors and families affected by clergy sexual abuse in our community.
The impact of abuse has been far-reaching in Ballarat and has caused so much hurt to many people and their families.
We need to respectfully, and with compassion, be prepared to talk about these serious matters so that those directly affected know that as a community we believe them, that we will support them and will commit to changing our culture for the better.
We now focus on being a truly compassionate city and the actions we can take to all heal together as a community.
Through the Compassionate Cities Charter we are working with other leaders and agencies in Ballarat to change the culture of our city, to focus on kindness, vulnerability, health and care for people.
I would encourage anyone who is affected by today’s proceedings to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14