On Friday the 5th October 2018, Scouts Australia apologised to survivors of child sexual abuse in Scouting. Making this apology is part of Scouts Australia’s commitment to acknowledge and address the harm that some of its members have suffered through Scouting.
The Chief Commissioner of Australia, Phil Harrison made the apology on behalf of all State and Territory Branch Chief Commissioners.
Scouts Australia listened to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, to survivor groups and most importantly to survivors. They indicated that an apology may help with survivors’ healing. Scouting sincerely hopes that the apology will help those who suffered through their time in Scouting, as well as their families who have also been affected.
The apology is a genuine and heartfelt admission that, for some young people, their time in Scouting was a negative experience. For this, we are truly sorry.
In preparing the apology Scouts Australia has been assisted by some survivors, and organisations which support them. We are very grateful for their advice.
Nothing is more important to Scouts Australia than the safety of the children in our care.
Scouts Australia has fully supported the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We saw it as a way to improve the safety of Australian children. Our National Child Protection Policy is available for viewing here
All State and Territory Branches of Scouts Australia have signed on to full participation in the National Redress Scheme.
Over the past 110 years, Scouts Australia is proud to have made a positive contribution to the development of more than two million young Australians. But we failed some members.
In addition to this national apology, our most senior members around Australia have met with many survivors, to make personal apologies. We are also willing to meet with anyone else who wishes to meet with us. We welcome all inquiries which can be directed to the appropriate state or territory Branch of Scouts Australia. Our contact details can be accessed here.
To find out more about the National Redress Scheme and Child Safe Scouting, please follow the links below.
If you feel you need support, the following organisations are there to help
– Lifeline – 13 11 14
– Men’s Line Australia – 1300 78 99 78
– Beyond Blue -1300 22 4636 – https://www.beyondblue.org.au/