*The below is a chapter summary only of the Interim Report. You can download the chapter in full at the bottom of the page.

Why we are here

Chapter 1 explains why the Commonwealth and state governments established the Royal Commission. It outlines our early days, as we took up the challenge of our terms of reference, determined our approach and set up our operations.

Key points

When a child is sexually abused, the impacts may be devastating and last a lifetime. The Royal Commission has been set up to better understand the problem of child sexual abuse in Australia’s institutions, and to make practical recommendations that inspire lasting change. We have built a strong team to help us do this.

The need for an inquiry

  • Child sexual abuse affects victims, their families and the wider community. Its trauma may last for generations.
  • While several inquiries have investigated specific aspects of abuse, none so far has looked at the problem across all institutions nationally.

Our task

  • Our terms of reference allow us to look at child sexual abuse that occurred at any time and in any institution.
  • To do so, we are using three key approaches: private sessions, public hearings and research.

Our operations

  • We now have around 250 full-time staff and contractors, with our headquarters in Sydney and premises around Australia.
  • With work well underway, we have spent;$79.2 million of our funding allocation from the Commonwealth Government.

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What we have done