Our Approach to Redress
What is The Benevolent Society’s approach to redress?
The Benevolent Society formally joined the National Redress Scheme on 25 December 2020. Our focus is on repairing the harm caused to people who experienced institutional child sexual abuse whilst in the care of The Benevolent Society. Our interactions will always be guided by the principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment.
What is the National Redress Scheme?
The Scheme was established in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which estimated that 60,000 people experienced institutional child sexual abused in Australia.
- Acknowledges that many children were sexually abused in Australian Institutions
- Holds institutions accountable for this abuse; and
- Helps people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to counselling and psychological services, a direct personal response and a monetary payment.
Redress is an alternative to seeking compensation through the courts.
How to access the National Redress Scheme?
People who successfully apply can gain access to:
- a Redress payment; and
- a direct personal response from the institution (e.g. an apology) for people who want it.
Applications to the scheme are open until 30 June 2027.
You can apply to the National Redress Scheme online or by paper. For more information on how to access the National Redress Scheme, visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.
Free Redress Support Services are also available for anyone applying, or considering applying, for redress. These services are confidential and can help explain the Scheme and who can apply.
What if I can’t access the National Redress Scheme?
The Benevolent Society runs a separate redress scheme for people who were under the care of The Benevolent Society at Scarba House and cannot access the National Redress Scheme for any valid legal reason. These reasons may include legal barriers to accessing the Scheme or people receiving end-of-life or palliative care.
For more information on The Benevolent Society Redress Scheme, please get in touch with us by emailing email@example.com or calling (02) 8262 3576.
Direct Personal Response
A direct personal response is one of the key foundations of redress available to applicants under the National Redress Scheme.
Where desired, The Benevolent Society is dedicated to providing a direct personal response to applicants under the Scheme by providing them an opportunity to share their experience, and for us to listen to, recognise and acknowledge their story.
Upon your application being processed by the Scheme, you will be offered the opportunity to receive a direct personal response from The Benevolent Society. We are committed to providing a direct personal response in writing, in a face-to-face meeting or any other reasonable method, depending on your individual wishes and requirements.
If you would like a direct personal response from The Benevolent Society, you may contact our Senior Administration Officer:
- By Email: Sharon.Dyet@benevolent.org.au
- By Post: 2E, Wentworth Park Road, Glebe, NSW 2037
- By Telephone: 0407 598 945
Once you contact The Benevolent Society, we will:
- Communicate with you to understand how you would like to receive your direct personal response. This may involve a discussion with you or your representative regarding the type of response you are seeking that will reflect your individual circumstances and how best this can occur.
- Determine who is the best person within The Benevolent Society to provide you with the direct personal response. You can choose the representative who you would like to provide the direct personal response to you. Relevant people within The Benevolent Society who can provide a response are.
- Joanne Toohey, Chief Executive Officer
- Leith Sterling, Executive Director (Child, Youth and Family, Practice and Quality)
We can support you through this process with a trained facilitator. If desired, we can also appoint an independent facilitator. The facilitator will be available to meet or contact you prior to a direct personal response occurring, and to assist you through what you may be looking for. The facilitator will, where required, also attend and support the process to ensure your requirements are met.
For further information on direct personal response or the National Redress Scheme, please visit www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.