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13 September 2023

Maurice Blackburn associate Zoe Papageorgiou, who represents Tasmanian survivors of abuse in institutions including schools and youth justice facilities, said the release of the report was a significant milestone for those affected.

“For Tasmanian survivors, the release of this long-awaited report is an important step on the path towards healing and justice.

“We know in Tasmania that institutional child abuse is not only historical, but has occurred in very recent times, and continues today.

“The ongoing prevalence of abuse in Tasmanian institutions underpins the urgency of implementing these recommendations to protect children now and into the future.

“For the survivors we work with, key recommendations of this report include the introduction of a Commissioner for Children and Young People, a new Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People to advocate broadly for Aboriginal children, and a new independent Child Advocate for children and young people in out of home care and youth detention.

“We are pleased the Tasmanian Government has pledged to implement the recommendations, and we will be watching for regular, independent oversight of how it is tracking against these promises.

“However, we remain disappointed in the Government’s delay in shutting down the Ashley Youth Detention Centre. In her closing remarks, Commission president Marcia Neave called for the centre to be closed as ‘a matter of urgency’ given the ongoing risks to the safety of children detained at the centre.”

Ms Papageorgiou said when speaking to survivors about the inquiry, many had highlighted the importance of having their experiences properly investigated.

“Survivors want to make sure perpetrators are held accountable, as well as those adults in a position of authority who failed in their duty to protect children in their care.

“Survivors are hopeful the implementation of the report’s recommendations will make Tasmanian institutions safer for children and protect them from harm and abuse.”

The Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings is equivalent to a royal commission and is independent of government. The inquiry focused on four main case studies: the Department of Education, the Launceston General Hospital, the Ashley Youth Detention Centre and out-of-home care.

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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.