Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government's Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
In 2020 a Commission of Inquiry was announced to investigate the responses of Tasmanian Government Agencies in relation to the management of allegations of child sexual abuse.
The Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings handed its Report to the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, on 31 August 2023.
The Commission’s work has now ended, and its Report will be publicly available after it has been tabled in Parliament on 26 September 2023.
Once tabled, the Report will be available for download from the Commission’s website.
For more information on the release of the Report, including how it will be released, the Government’s response and supports available please visit the Tasmanian Government’s Keeping Children Safe website.
The Tasmanian Government has formally accepted all recommendations. The Department of Health including the Launceston General Hospital is working to implement the recommendations.
We are focussed on making a real difference, and while the road ahead may be difficult, we are committed to doing better and working with children and young people to ensure they are safe in our care.
We are strengthening our systems to protect children, training our staff and volunteers, and building awareness in the community so that we can protect present and future generations.
If you think you may need support, please reach out and visit the Keeping Children Safe website.
Everyone has the right to feel safe in our care.
It is always ok to speak up and we are listening.
What actions have we taken?
Evidence provided at the Commission of Inquiry prompted the Department to immediately undertake a Child Safe Governance Review. The review looked at the Launceston General Hospital and Human Resources with learnings to be applied across the entire Department of Health.
Further Child Safeguarding Measures
The Department of Health also has other child safeguarding initiatives underway.
One of those is the establishment of a new Children and Young People Advisory Group (CYPAG). The CYPAG will provide a way for young Tasmanians to inform the Department about how it can improve its services to children and young people.
A key priority is to continue implementing recommendations from the Review about human resources. This includes delivering a new HR service delivery model. The new model will work more closely with important stakeholders, ensure improved record-keeping, staff capabilities and reporting requirements.
Another important new role, the Chief Risk Officer, has been established to oversee risk management across the Department of Health. Risk management includes Work Health and Safety, auditing and Emergency Preparedness and Response.
The Department of Health has set up working groups to lead the work to keep children safe across the Department of Health. These groups will also report on progress and delivery. This includes:
- improving communications,
- strengthening child safeguarding,
- improving incident management and open disclosure and clinician performance
- improving complaints management
- strengthening human resources governance
- overseeing changes to organisational structure, management and leadership roles and accountabilities and training
- record keeping
There is also independent oversight of the implementation of these changes, by the co-chairs of the original review.
The Department is providing regular public updates to inform the community about the work we are doing to keep children safe.
We understand this is an extremely difficult time for many people and acknowledge it continues to affect people with lived experience of child abuse.
We are committed to being sensitive as we use the learnings from past wrongs to protect the rights of current and future generations of children and young people and keep them safe from harm.
You may also wish to consider available support services, including:
- Sexual Assault Support Service Inc. - 1800 697 877
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636
- 1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732
- Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467
- MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978
There are also a range of Work Health, Safety and Wellbeing supports and resources available at Health and Wellbeing Supports.