Lismore Diocese joins National Redress Scheme
THE Catholic Diocese of Lismore has joined the National Redress Scheme.
A spokesperson at the Department of Social Services confirmed the Diocese of Lismore joined the National Redress Scheme on December 13, 2018.
"They joined the Scheme as part of Australian Catholic Redress Limited (including 32 other Catholic Institutions)," the DSS spokesperson said.
"Australian Catholic Redress Limited is the Catholic participating group that represents the Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses, they are responsible for their participation in the Scheme."
The scheme was set-up in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and started in July 2018.
The scheme's website confirms the Lismore Diocese, headed by Bishop Gregory Homeming, was included in the scheme through Australian Catholic Redress Ltd, an agency created by the church to allow dioceses and religious congregations to interact with the scheme.
According to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, the Australian Catholic Redress Ltd is a charity based in Canberra to help "the general community of Australia".
The charity's objectives, according to its Constitution document, is to:
- Advance public or social welfare by recognising and alleviating the distress and suffering of past institutional child sexual abuse and related abuse
- Provide justice to alleviate the distress and suffering of survivors
- Provide infrastructure and support to Catholic participating institutions to provide such relief
- Facilitate the provision of direct personal responses by Catholic participating institutions to survivors who have requested a response.
The scheme allows people born before June 30, 2010 to apply for redress if they experienced sexual abuse when they were a child (under 18) and the abuse happened before July 1, 2018, when an institution was responsible for bringing them into contact with the person who abused them.
Alleged victims cannot apply for redress if have already received a court-ordered payment from the institution.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, said: "Survivors deserve justice and healing and many have bravely come forward to tell their stories."
In December, Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher said 27 of 35 dioceses were participating institutions in the scheme.
Archbishop Coleridge said he was grateful the minister had worked closely with their new company.
"With more than 5000 Catholic sites eventually to fall under Australian Catholic Redress Ltd's purview, this was a longer and more complex process than we or even the Department expected," he said.
After numerous attempts, The Northern Star was unable to gather any further information or details regarding the Lismore Diocese's involvement in the scheme.