J McNally 2016, Living Traces Exhibition, Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Memory Project

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Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

As in previous inquiries, records and recordkeeping issues have featured in the current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This culminated in the release of a Records and Recordkeeping Practices Consultation Paper in September 2016. The findings of the Royal Commission in the area of records and recordkeeping were discussed by Commissioner Jennifer Coate in her keynote presentation to the Australian Society of Archivists 2016 Conference on 20 October 2016 and by Commissioner Andrew Murray in his Geoffrey Bolton Lecture at the State Records of Western Australia on 24 November 2016.

On this page we bring together submissions to this and other issues and consultation papers which have highlighted records and recordkeeping concerns.

Submissions to the Records and Recordkeeping Practices Consultation Paper

The Royal Commission released a Records and Recordkeeping Consultation Paper in September 2016, which sought feedback on 5 principles for good recordkeeping in institutions that deal with children. 43 submissions to this Consultation Paper have been published on the Royal Commission website. These submissions came from a wide range of organisations including 8 from care leavers and care leaver advocacy groups, 7 from past and present providers of out of home care, 5 from archival institutions, 5 from government agencies, 3 from out of home care peak bodies and 2 from disability advocacy groups. The following ones are of particular interest:

Following on from the National Summit on the 8-9 May 2017 we were able to make a further submission on behalf of the Initiative highlighting the elements of a strategic action plan discussed at the event.

Submissions to the Out-of-Home Care Consultation Paper

The Royal Commission released its Out-of-Home Care Consultation Paper in March 2016. It sought feedback on a proposed data model for nationally-consistent collection of data regarding child sexual abuse in Out-of-Home Care, and on questions relating to access to Care Leavers records. A large proportion of the submissions to the Consultation Paper discussed records and recordkeeping issues. See in particular the submissions by:

Submissions to Issues Paper 10 Advocacy and Support and Therapeutic Treatment Services

Issues Paper 10 Advocacy and Support and Therapeutic Treatment Services was released on 1 October 2015. It did not ask for feedback on recordkeeping issues. However, a small but significant number of the submissions that it attracted commented on records issues due to their critical importance in the recovery process of many survivors of abuse. See in particular the submissions by:

Submissions to Issues Paper 4 Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out of Home Care

Issues Paper 4 Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in Out of Home Care was released on 11 November 2013. It sought submissions on several questions relating to ensuring the safety of children in Out-of-Home Care, including on the implications for recordkeeping and access to records that result from delayed reporting of child sexual abuse. Many submissions talked about the importance of good recordkeeping practices for accountable organisations. A few went further and pointed out the complexity of recordkeeping issues in the Out-of-Home Care sector and the crucial importance of records for Care Leavers. See in particular the submissions by:

Other submissions

Submissions to the Consultation Paper on the Establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Submissions to the Redress and Civil Litigation Consultation Paper