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National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Today the Prime Minister has delivered a National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse at Parliament House in Canberra. The findings of the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse were devastating and the failures to protect children by schools, religious organisations, government and non-government agencies and organisations is a stain on our national conscience.

Today’s National Apology was developed on the advice of an independent, survivor focused reference group, and has TGS’s whole-hearted endorsement.

Tragically there are instances in our own history where TGS has failed in its duty to protect the children in our care, and for that we are deeply sorry and apologise unreservedly.

Child sexual abuse is abhorrent, and we acknowledge the catastrophic and long lasting impact it has on the lives of those abused, and their families and friends. The safety and wellbeing of current, former and future students is our absolute priority, and always will be. As a School we are resolute in ensuring we have strict and clear policies, procedures, and resources to ensure TGS is truly a ‘child safe’ environment. There is zero tolerance for abuse of any form at our school.

As we go about responding to past acts of child sex abuse we will be guided by the school’s values of truth, integrity, courage and service. We are determined to ensure there is a compassionate, simple, and confidential resolution process for anyone impacted by child sexual abuse, and our recent decision to register with the National Redress Scheme is a clear commitment to this.

Any allegations of abuse within our community are deeply upsetting and concerning and we are resolute in ensuring swift and appropriate action is taken. If you do have any concerns please contact our Headmaster, Phil De Young, and, if appropriate, relevant authorities.

Phil De Young                 John Gillam                                        Rev’d Matt Campbell
Headmaster                Chair of School Council            Director of Wellbeing and Senior Chaplain

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Click here to view this letter as a PDF

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A Prayer of Sorrow and Commitment…

God of endless love,
hear our cries as we lament this national tragedy of Institutionalised child sex abuse.

We are sorry for our failure to protect innocent children in our Australian schools, churches, children’s homes, organisations and charities, and especially at Trinity Grammar School.

Soothe restless hearts with hope, steady shaken spirits with faith, and bring healing to the broken. Show us the way to justice and wholeness, enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.

Give us humility and grace to listen well and courage and compassion as we respond to those who have been harmed.

We commit ourselves anew to the protection of the children in our care and to restoration for all forms of abuse and neglect.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.