Preventing Child Abuse in Recreation Activities: Scouts Australia and the Recommendations of the Royal Commission

Scouts Australia, the lead representative organisation for all state and territory Scout Associations, has been subject to two case studies from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission). As a large, national sporting and recreational body, Scouts Australia’s response to the Royal Commission is an interesting template for other organisations who have interstate obligations.

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Religious Confessions and Child Protection Reporting (Part One)

Upcoming and proposed changes to child protection laws could bring the mandatory reporting expectations of the clergy in line with those of teachers, medical professionals and others in positions of authority. However, the legal requirements associated with child abuse disclosures made during religious confession still vary between jurisdictions.

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Responses to the Royal Commission: States and Territories Address the Child Safe Standards

One of the key recommendations coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse (the Royal Commission) was the implementation, endorsement and oversight of the 10 suggested Child Safe Standards. Now, six months after the Final Report was delivered, all but one State has outlined their proposed responses to the Royal Commission’s final recommendations, including how they will react to the Standards.

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Non-Financial Governance Reporting: What Does a School Board Actually Need to Know to Make Effective Decisions?

Financial, enrolment and education performance reports only tell a partial story of the overall performance of a school. In many ways, it is measurable non-financial information that enhances a board’s decision-making ability, ensuring they are able to guide the school towards achieving core strategic goals and objectives.

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Registration Authorities Under Scrutiny: What Do They Expect and How Does This Impact Schools?

To be registered and maintain registration, schools are required to continuously comply with certain regulatory requirements, which vary by jurisdiction, school sector and school type. School registration authorities differ in how they manage school registration and their expected evidence of compliance, but they may collectively be taking on a more active role in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission.

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Federal Government Responds to the Royal Commission’s Recommendations and Offers National Apology

On 13 June the Federal Government announced its response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Royal Commission) and also announced a national apology the survivors, victims and families of institutional child sexual abuse to be delivered on 22 October to coincide with National Children’s Week (19-28 October). In a press conference Prime Minister Turnbull announced: the creation of a national office for child safety commencing on 1 July, the development of a Commonwealth child safety framework and the nationalisation of child safety checks. This significant response from the Federal Government comes as all states and territories except Western Australia have signed up to the national redress scheme for survivors, allowing the provision of compensation, counselling and personal apologies to abuse survivors.

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Former Teacher on Bail for Grooming Runs Children’s Sport Tournament

The Office of the Children’s Guardian has identified that many employers fail to correctly verify working with children check details for new and existing workers. This compliance gap may have caused a tennis association to be unaware that a person released on bail for child abuse offences was conducting children’s tournaments, putting sports organisations on notice of the need to uphold child-safe environments and promote a child safe culture.

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