These five organisations refuse to join the child abuse redress scheme
By Dana McCauley
Sydney Morning Herald
1 July, 2020 — 5.08pm
Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston has threatened sanctions against five organisations that have left dozens of survivors of childhood sexual abuse without a clear path to justice by failing to join the national redress scheme.
Boys Brigade New South Wales, the Lakes Entrance Pony Club, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Kenja Communications and Fairbridge Restored Limited have not submitted notices of intention to join the scheme despite having claims against them.
called out six organisations on Wednesday morning
Senator Ruston, who had given hundreds of charities and organisations with a history of working with children until June 30 to signal their commitment to the scheme, said each of the groups would be banned from receiving government funding and may be hit with taxation penalties.
She called out six organisations on Wednesday morning, including the Australian Air League, which later that day submitted its intention to join the scheme.
"These organisations deny the 55 survivors who have applications against these institutions the redress that they deserve, the acknowledgment that they deserve for what they have endured, the pain and suffering," the minister said, referring to the six organisations.
will no longer be eligible .. for any government funding
"The federal government has made the decision that these ... organisations, and any other organisations against which applications are made that refuse to join the scheme in the future, will no longer be eligible to bid for any government funding.
"I'm also looking towards tax status and to revoke favourable tax status for these organisations, including their charitable status."
Senator Ruston said she would be travelling around the country next week to meet with state and territory ministers responsible for redress, to discuss "further measures that may be able to be taken against these organisations".
She said the "overwhelming" majority of charities and organisations that had either been named in the royal commission or had applications against them in National Redress Scheme had committed to join the scheme or had joined the scheme.
A total of 224 institutions that have operated across 51,000 locations, along with the Commonwealth government, state and territory governments, have joined the scheme.
156 organisations have signalled their commitment
A further 156 organisations, including the Australian Olympic Committee and Netball Australia, have signalled their commitment.
Senator Ruston said a large number of organisations had chosen to join the scheme despite having not been named in the royal commission, and not having an application against them.
She thanked these groups "for the leadership that they've shown to the people that they work with but also the commitment that they have shown to child safety."
The action meant that, should a victim make an application for redress against one of these organisations, it could be processed quickly.
Kenja Communication co-founder Janice R Hamilton said in a letter to Senator Ruston that she was aware of the redress scheme and accepted "unreservedly" that sexual abuse was a crime, but that "we deny that sexual abuse has ever taken place at this organisation".
The letter, published on Kenja Communication's website, said her co-founder Kenneth Dyers had been "exonerated by the court system" in proceedings that stretched from 1993 to 2002 and that "there were no convictions" in relation to the allegations made against him.
The Australian Air League said in a statement after signalling its intention to join the scheme on Wednesday that the organisation was "committed to child safety" and was working to "refine our policies and processes ... to ensure we appropriately manage potential claims or complaints."
Boys Brigade New South Wales, the Lakes Entrance Pony Club and the Jehovah's Witnesses have been contacted for comment.
The deadline for organisations to complete the process of joining the national redress scheme is December 31.
Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.