Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Launched

Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government's Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institution

MEDIA RELEASE: Tasmanian Commission of Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Launched

Thursday 13 May 2021

With wide-ranging powers equal to that of a Royal Commission, the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings was launched today.

The last Tasmanian Royal Commission was held in 1992.

The Commission of Inquiry will investigate child sexual abuse within the State Service and explore ways the Government can better protect Tasmanian children.

Three eminent Commissioners have been appointed to the role:

  •  The Honourable Marcia Neave AO, Commission President and former Supreme Court Judge

  •  Professor Leah Bromfield, one of Australia’s foremost child protection researchers

  •  The Honourable Robert Benjamin AM, former Tasmanian Family Court Judge.

    Premier Peter Gutwein announced the independent inquiry last November following allegations of child sexual abuse in public schools; the Ashley Youth Detention Centre; and against a nurse at Launceston General Hospital, James Geoffrey Griffin.

    “Child Abuse is a terrible crime, which can harm children for their whole lives and devastate their families. It is also devastating that child abuse often happens within the very organisations we entrust to care for, educate and nurture our children–even those organisations that are established and operated on our behalf, by our governments,” Commissioner Neave said.

    “Together we look forward to travelling across the State to hear from Tasmanians about their experiences, and their ideas about how to best ensure that government institutions are safe for children.”

    The Commission will build on the work of the five-year Commonwealth Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. Anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse in government institutions, or has other relevant information, is encouraged to come forward.

    Submissions are now open. The final report and recommendations are due August 2022.

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