On Wednesday 27 June 2018, the Western Australian Government announced that it would join the National Redress Scheme, which has been created in response to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The Western Australian Government's participation in the National Redress Scheme recognises and gives support to Western Australians who have experienced child sexual abuse in institutions.
Redress is an alternative to pursuing civil litigation through the courts.
The national scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will run for 10 years. Western Australia’s participation in the scheme began on 1 January 2019.
Survivors can access free and confidential legal advice through Knowmore, which provides survivors with information about the justice and redress options that may be available to them.
For more information, visit the Knowmore website or contact via phone on 1800 605 762.
What the scheme can give you
The National Redress Scheme can provide support in three ways:
- a monetary payment
- access to counselling and psychological care
- a direct personal response from the institution (eg an apology).
Independent Decision Makers will consider the applications for redress, using guidelines to determine when an applicant is eligible and to ensure outcomes are as consistent as possible. The WA Government will assist the Commonwealth to ensure the Independent Decision Makers have the best available information to make a decision.
It is important to realise that you do not need to gather or request any information or supporting documents, you only need to complete the application form.
Changes to the way Counselling and Psychological Care is delivered
From 1 January 2023, WA victim-survivors will access their Counselling and Psychological Care (CPC) entitlements in a different way. Instead of receiving a lump sum payment up front, victim-survivors can choose an appropriately recognised counsellor and the State Government will pay the counsellor direct for the services they provide.
Those who have already received a CPC payment, or who receive an offer including CPC from the National Redress Scheme before 1 January are not affected by the change.
Who can apply
You can make an application under the scheme if:
- A person has experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution or organisation
- The abuse happened when the person was under 18
- The abuse occurred before the start date of the scheme
- The person applying is an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- The institution or organisation responsible for the abuse has joined the scheme.
The application form is straightforward and you can complete it online through the myGov website. Alternatively the application form can be completed manually by downloading the form from the National Redress Scheme website. You may also call 1800 737 377 to ask for an application form to be sent to you.
If you are under 18 years old, or have been sentenced to jail for five or more years, or have received previous payments related to the abuse, then your application may be processed differently. You may wish to seek further information or legal advice in relation to your circumstances.
Who cannot apply
You cannot apply if you:
- Are currently in jail, unless your case is deemed to be exceptional. You may apply once you are released.
- Have already applied for redress to the scheme, and received a decision.
- Have already received a court-ordered payment from the responsible institution or organisation.
Where can I get more information?
To obtain more information about the National Redress Scheme please visit the National Redress Scheme website or telephone the National Redress Information Telephone Line on 1800 737 377 (Mondays to Fridays 8.00 am – 5.00 pm). If you are overseas then please call +61 3 6222 3455 and ask to speak to somebody from the National Redress Scheme.
Refer to the WA Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for further information.
Free and confidential Redress Support Services are available to assist you during the application process. Refer to the list of the support services.
Some additional options for support and legal advice are:
Phone: 1300 224 636 (24 hours a day)
Phone: 1800 605 762 (Mondays to Fridays, 9.00 am – 5.00 pm AEST)
Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours a day)
Relationships Australia WA
Phone: 1300 364 277
Phone: 1800 619 795 or (08) 6140 2380
Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation
Phone: 1800 469 371 (Free call)
Redress Coordination Unit
The Redress Coordination Unit is responsible for liaising with the State agencies and Commonwealth to ensure that the Independent Decision Makers have received the best available information to determine the application. If you have any enquiries, please contact the unit via:
Redress Coordination Unit
Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Crime
Department of Justice
GPO Box F317
PERTH WA 6841
Phone: (08) 9264 9877