Congregation
Grafton Diocese Strongly Supports Royal Commission

      The Anglican Diocese of Grafton today re-affirmed its full support of The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

            The Diocese also pledged to co-operate ”fully and completely” with Commission’s investigations

            The comments come as four former leaders of the Diocese are set to appear before the Commission next Monday (November 18).

            The four will be questioned about activities relating to the North Coast Children’s Home and responses by the Diocese to complaints lodged by former residents.

            All four former executives have ceased their professional ties with the diocese.

            A statement issued today by the diocese emphasised that since the time of the issues to be examined by the Royal Commission, the diocese had put in place major and wide ranging changes to policies and procedures relating to the care of any person for whom it has a duty of care.

    These changes had been acknowledged, in part, by representatives of former residents of the NCCH

              The Diocese’s backing of the Commission follows:

·         A full and detailed internal review by the Diocese as to how it responded to complaints of abuse  by former residents of the NCCH

·         Disclosures to the Commission, by the Diocese, of  failures of process identified in the management of claims associated with abuse at the Home

·         An “unreserved” apology by the Diocese in national media to any person who may have suffered abuse, harsh punishment or lack of nurturing care while a resident at the NCCH

·          A commitment to provide “appropriate support and assistance for those who were harmed and who continue to suffer” because of any association with the NCCH

·         An instruction to the Diocesan Professional Standards Committee to deal with outstanding claims by former NCCH residents “as a matter of urgency.”

            A spokesperson for the Diocese said it was not possible to comment on matters which may come before the Commission next week.

            “However, we wish to make it very clear, that whatever shortcomings and failures there may have been dealing with these issues in the past we have made major changes in attitude, protocol and response.

      “The Diocese now is totally committed to facing its responsibilities and introducing a new and wholly appropriate attitude and response to any form of abuse experienced by persons for whom we have responsibility and duty of care.”