But eventually, the inquiry’s recommendations will hopefully bring healing to the Australian nation, Ms Gillard told child sex abuse survivors today.
A day after she announced the appointments to the royal commission into child sexual abuse in institutions, Ms Gillard met with about 30 child sexual abuse survivors and advocates at Kirribilli House in Sydney.
“Yesterday’s announcement is a tribute to you for having sustained that campaign after many, many long years,” Ms Gillard told them. “I can’t promise you there are easy days ahead … I suspect there are some very traumatic days ahead as people come and tell what happened to them, many of them for the very first time.”
Child abuse victims had suffered many years of being “shunned and spurned and having doors slammed in their face”, Ms Gillard said.
“It’s your time now to tell your story.”
“The recommendations of the royal commission (will), I hope, bring some healing to individuals and to us as a nation,” she added.
The royal commission was broadly welcomed by those present at the morning tea, with advocate Dr Wayne Chamley telling the prime minister: “We want to thank you for your courage”.
“This is going to determine how we care for and protect and cherish our children in the future,” he said.
John Hennessy of Child Migrants Trust carried a photograph of his late British mother, May Mary Hennessy, who was told he was dead before he was shipped to a Western Australian Christian Brothers institution.
“I think it vindicates everything we’ve been fighting for for 25 years,” Mr Hennessy said of the royal commission.
The commissioners are expected to hold a telephone hook-up on Monday and their first face-to-face meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
The commission is expected to provide an interim report by the end of June 2014 and will wind up in December 2015.Source: The Australian “Commission on child sex abuse will be traumatic, Gillard warns victims”
- Royal commission trauma ahead: Gillard (news.smh.com.au)
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