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

What we have done

While the Royal Commission still has a large task ahead, we have taken significant steps towards fulfilling our terms of reference. Chapter 2 details what we have done so far, explaining how we have:

  • listened to the personal experiences of many people affected by institutional child sexual abuse
  • selected case studies and run public hearings
  • already seen positive changes in the management of some institutions, including a commitment to re-examine their previous responses to survivors’ child sexual abuse claims
  • researched key issues, by working with experts and community representatives
  • raised public awareness
  • gathered and managed information.

Key points

One of the most important parts of the Royal Commission’s work is bearing witness to the experiences of those affected by child sexual abuse. We have already heard from thousands of people, from survivors and their families to the staff and management of institutions. We have also consulted with communities, experts and stakeholders across Australia, to make sure everyone can contribute to our inquiry.

Private sessions and written accounts

By 31 May 2014:

  • we had held 1,677 private sessions and received 1,632 written accounts
  • there were more than 1,000 people waiting to attend a private session.

Public hearings

By June 2014:

  • we had held 13 public hearings in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney
  • we had 96 days of hearings, during which we heard from 219 witnesses.

Research

By June 2014, we had:

  • completed 21 research projects
  • started work on another 12 research projects
  • released seven issues papers and received over 300 submissions on the first five
  • held two community roundtables: the first, in April 2014, focused on out-of-home care, the second was in June 2014 and focused on Working with Children Checks.

Community

  • Our media and public information activities target vulnerable or hard-to-reach groups in the community.
  • We work closely with survivor support organisations.
  • Our website, www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au, has been viewed by over 233,000 visitors.

Information

We have:

  • issued 643 notices or summonses to produce, and received almost 424,000 documents in response. We also issued 246 summonses to witnesses to appear before the Royal Commission
  • received more than 13,000 calls at our call centre, and 5,463 pieces of correspondence
  • referred over 160 matters to the police for investigation.