The Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, sent out the following e-mail on 17th November:
As you would be aware the Prime Minister announced this week that she will be recommending to the Governor-General the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia.
For many of you - who have fought for many, many years for this - the establishment of a Royal Commission will come as a welcome relief.
The Royal Commission will be a thorough investigation into the wrongs that have been committed. I want to assure you that you and your organisations will have the chance to be involved.
Work has already begun. A Royal Commission Secretariat has been established and is currently working on a proposal for terms of reference for the Royal Commission.
The Prime Minister has said she wants to have the terms of reference ready by the end of this year so the Commission can start early in 2013.
As part of the development of the terms of reference we will be consulting with organisations that represent the survivors of child abuse, community leaders, State and Territory Governments, religious organisations and other parties.
My Department will be in touch with you very shortly with more details on the consultation process.
A hotline - 1800 099 340 - has also been established for people seeking more information.
If you would like to be kept informed on the establishment of the Royal Commission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the hotline to provide your contact details.
For more information you can also visit the Secretariat’s website: www.dpmc.gov.au/child_abuse_royal_commission/index.cfm
As the Prime Minister has explained, the Royal Commission will consider the handling of child sexual abuse allegations in religious, charitable and state institutions.
Past Royal Commissions have generally called witnesses and taken oral evidence in the past, and I expect this will be the case with the current inquiry
The Gillard Government believes we must do everything we can to make sure that what has happened in the past to Australian children is never allowed to happen again.
If you would like to speak to my office please call Abbie Clark or Kate Costello on 02 6277 7560.
Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform