31 October 2020
The Anglican Church of Tasmania has finalised claims amounting to $3.65 million for survivors of sexual abuse.
On Saturday 31 October, the Synod of the Anglican Church of Tasmania will hear that between 14 June 2019 and 18 September 2020, the Diocese committed to pay $1.226 million through the National Redress Scheme and $2.235 million through civil litigation settlements. A further $185,000 has been paid out in Pastoral Support and Assistance for survivors of abuse. Some of these funds have already been paid, and some are waiting to be paid.
“We are committed to justice for survivors of abuse. We recognise that a financial payout will not remove the burden and trauma of abuse, but we believe it goes some way towards showing our sorrow for those who have suffered in this way,” says Dr Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania.
“In the last year I have responded to requests from several survivors of abuse for a direct personal response. In these meetings, I have offered them an apology for the abuse they endured. These are important times for us as a Diocese to own up to the failings of our predecessors and to help survivors take steps along the path towards healing.”
The $3.65 million in finalised claims goes to 24 survivors of sexual abuse who have come forward through both the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation. The Diocese has been notified of further claims and these are in process. The National Redress Scheme runs until 2028.
“I want to encourage any person who suffered abuse in the Anglican Church in the past to come forward. We take all claims very seriously and applaud the courage of those who come forward with their story,” said Bishop Condie.
In 2018, the Anglican Diocese estimated its liability under the National Redress Scheme to be approximately $8.6 million. In 2020, the estimate of outstanding liability was updated to $19.4 million. The Diocesan Redress Fund Working Group will meet later this year to discuss how to meet our increased financial commitments under the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation.
The Anglican Church of Tasmania has instituted many changes over the last eighteen years in order to protect children and prevent abuse. The safety of children and vulnerable people in our church communities is paramount. The church has been working hard to screen, educate and develop church leaders and volunteers who are working with vulnerable people. We have improved our response to and support for survivors of sexual abuse. We have no tolerance for abuse of any kind.
To report abuse call 1800 017 286, Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.