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Scouts Australia NSW appeared before the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry Print E-mail

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Letter from the Chief Commissioner – Royal Commission Releases First Case Study Report Print E-mail

Dear Members of Scouts Australia,

I am taking this opportunity to speak with all members of the Scouting Community about the incredibly important matter of child safety and welfare.

Just a few days ago the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse submitted its first case study report – looking into systems and circumstances that were in place when Steven Larkins, who was a Scout leader during the 1990s, abused children. Even after Scouts had lodged a report with police, Larkins went on to work as the CEO of the Hunter Aboriginal Children’s Service and in 2012 he was found guilty of a number of charges in court.

In review of the Larkins case and in particular the child protection system that Scouting had in place during the 1990's, the Royal Commission’s Report found that we did not have an adequate system in place.  Scouts agree with the Report’s findings in this regard.

As noted in the Report, Scouts changed its procedures and by 2000 the Scouts’ Behaviour Management Procedure had altered to require the immediate suspension of an adult member who was the subject of serious allegations without investigating the matter beforehand.

Today, a specific step-by‐step process is used to respond to child abuse allegations. In cases of criminal abuse it includes a complete suspension of the accused adult member and immediate reporting to police and/or other relevant external child protection authorities. Scouts encourages an environment which fosters the immediate reporting of any abuse, and recognises that any delay in reporting can have an impact on everyone involved, especially the victims.

Scouts has zero tolerance for any form of child abuse.  It does not conduct any type of investigation for allegations of criminal child abuse and hands any concerns directly to the police for full, professional investigation.


Royal Commission has Scouts Australia's full support Print E-mail

Scouts Australia welcomes the Prime Minister's announcement of the Royal Commission's terms of reference and the appointment of six highly regarded Australians as commissioners.

The six commissioners provide the necessary diversity of experience to deliver a meaningful and thorough approach to achieving the Royal Commission Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse's objective - to effect national changes to the systems which protect children.

Scouts Australia has zero-tolerance for abuse of any kind, and we will work closely with the Commission to share all records and information in order to achieve this crucial objective.

Scouts Australia has established the Royal Commission Advisory Committee, led by Chief Commissioner Reg Williams, that includes representatives from Scouts' youth, state and territory leadership. For more information please click here.

Scouts Welcomes Royal Commission in Child Abuse Print E-mail

Scouts Australia welcomes the Federal Government's decision to establish a national Royal Commission into institutional responses to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia. Scouts will assist The Commission in whatever way possible.

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