Private Royal Commission sessions begin in Sydney on Tuesday
SURVIVORS of child sexual abuse will get the chance to "tell their stories" in face-to-face private sessions when the next phase of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse begins on Tuesday.
The commission plans to travel around Australia conducting private sessions in capital cities and regional locations.
Private sessions will begin in Sydney on Tuesday and are expected to run for many months.
There are also plans for the commission to hold private sessions in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in the coming months, with the details to be released soon.
Commission chief executive officer Janette Dines urged people in Brisbane and Adelaide who wanted to speak with the commissioners in private sessions to make contact.
"As soon as we have enough people registered in a particular location we will make arrangements to travel to that place," Ms Dines said.
As well as giving child abuse survivors the chance to speak about their experiences, the private sessions will also assist the commissioners to deepen their understanding of the circumstances of abuse in institutions, Ms Dines said.
She also stressed the private sessions would be very informal and people would not require a lawyer, although they were welcome to bring along a support person.
"These sessions will be conducted in complete privacy. The information a person provides will be kept confidential unless they agree to it being made public," she said.
Ms Dines said that many people have already come forward to register their interest in talking to the royal commission.
She asked for patience as royal commission officers worked to make contact with all of those people as quickly as possible.
"I want to assure people who have already called that we will get back to them," she said.
CONTACTING THE ROYAL COMMISSION
Individuals and organisations on behalf of one or more individuals who wish to tell the royal commission of their experiences of child sexual abuse are invited to register their interest. They can do so by:
- Telephoning 1800 099 340
- Writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org