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Thursday, 14 December 2017
YMCA acknowledges end of Royal Commission with call for further commitment to child safety

Today marks the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – one of Australia’s longest running and most pivotal and expansive public inquiries.

This Royal Commission has shone a spotlight on the issue and impacts of child sexual abuse, and has clearly illustrated the deficiencies of institutions in preventing and responding to the abuse of children.

The Commission’s work also constitutes one of the largest and most significant bodies of research – providing unequivocal evidence of the nature and outcomes of child sexual abuse and the elements required for institutions to be truly child-safe.

It is no longer acceptable to say “we didn’t know.”

Most importantly, the Royal Commission has provided an opportunity for survivors to finally be heard, be believed and to courageously share their experiences.

While the YMCA has faced many challenges through this period, our engagement with the Royal Commission has contributed to the transformation of our organisation and our continuing efforts to ensure all children and young people are safe and protected in the YMCA.

We take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Justice Peter McClellan, Chair of the Royal Commission and all Commissioners on the extraordinary work undertaken over the past five years.

We look forward to reading the final report of the Royal Commission and working collectively to implement and embed its recommendations.

The YMCA supports the national harmonisation of pre-employment screening such as Working With Children checks. We also support the national implementation of child safe standards for all organisations and institutions providing services to children and young people.

As institutions and as a society, we all share a deep responsibility to ensure the Royal Commission’s legacy continues. We owe this commitment to survivors of past abuse, and to all children and young people in Australia today and into the future.

We call on all governments and institutions to join us in making this commitment to Australia’s children.

- Melinda Crole

Chief Executive

YMCA Australia  

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