The Uniting Church in Queensland is committed to doing all that we can to provide fair, consistent and compassionate redress for people who were sexually abused as children in our care.
The Uniting Church will not hide from the truth, however painful that may be, and will seek to address issues and challenges with compassion and humility.
We will say sorry to anyone who was sexually abused while in our care and, in consultation with those affected, actively seek ways to make amends for what happened in the past and identify how we can best offer support into the future.
Redress is the setting right of a wrong or injury. Redress measures that may be offered by the Uniting Church, Queensland Synod to an applicant under our Interim Redress Scheme include:
- a direct personal response to the survivor from a Senior Representative of the Church
- guaranteed funding, when needed, for counselling and psychological care
- a monetary sum which is a tangible recognition of the seriousness of the hurt and injury suffered by a survivor.
The Queensland Synod’s Interim Redress Scheme is offered as a way of obtaining effective redress for past abuse that is a genuine alternative to seeking common law damages. It is not intended to be compensation for past abuse.
The Church respects the rights of survivors to control how they deal with the outcomes of the harm they suffered. Some survivors may wish to pursue formal legal avenues seeking monetary compensation in recognition of those harms. In those circumstances the Queensland Synod’s Interim Redress Scheme does not apply.
Survivors are encouraged to seek assistance to help them decide which outcomes best suit their individual needs.
Through implementation of the national Uniting Church Interim Redress Framework, the Queensland Synod seeks to:
- acknowledge our responsibility for past wrongs
- help those who have suffered to heal and lead a productive and fulfilled life
- where desired by the survivor, re-engage with the survivor
- for those who wish to seek engagement with the Synod, offer an opportunity for survivors who wish to seek engagement with the Synod, which is survivor focused and provides a process which is respectful and appropriate to the needs of a survivor
- ensure a compassionate and consistent response across the Uniting Church in Queensland.
This Interim Redress Scheme offers redress where the Church exercised responsibility for the setting in which the abuse occurred. The Church must take responsibility to ensure children are as safe as possible in these settings. However, there must also be a relevant connection between the Applicant and the Church before redress is appropriate.
This Interim Redress Scheme applies to adults and children who experienced sexual abuse as a child in an institutional context while in the care of the Queensland Synod, where the abuse occurred or the first instance of the abuse occurred before the cut-off date.
A Past Recipient of redress may apply under this Scheme.
The scope and operation of the Queensland Synod’s Interim Redress Scheme is detailed in the Resources section below, particularly in the Principles document. These documents are updated from time to time, so please ensure to refer to the documents hyper-linked below rather than to previously saved versions or documents sent by third parties.
We understand that making an application can bring out a lot of upsetting memories and thoughts, and we recommend you approach the Redress Support Service at Change Futures to support you through this process. Even if you are not ready to start the application process, you might find it helpful to contact Change Futures to discuss the process and what’s involved. Part of the process involves completing a form, which Change Futures can help you fill out. If you don’t want to complete the Application, you can write down your experiences and story instead, but it will need to cover the information that is contained in the Application. Change Futures can also help you with this. An alternative contact is the Interim Redress Coordinator at the Uniting Church Queensland Synod office. Contact details are available below.
To find out more about the Interim Redress Scheme and to make an application for redress or check on the progress of an application please phone 1800 874 995 or email UCredress@changefutures.org.au.
This free call phone number is staffed by Change Futures between 9 am and 5 pm on weekdays and between 10 am and midday on Saturdays. You can also leave a message outside those hours and your call will be returned on the next business day. Or you can email if you prefer this method.
If you have other questions, please contact the Interim Redress Coordinator, Uniting Church in Queensland on (07) 3377 9809 or call the Uniting Church in Queensland Synod office on (07) 3377 7777 or email email@example.com.
If you need urgent support please contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 or the Queensland Police Service: 000