Independent Inquiry into the Tasmanian Department of Education’s responses to child sexual abuse

The content on this webpage may be distressing for some people. Information on where to seek support is at the bottom of the page.

If anyone has information in relation to child sexual abuse, they are strongly encouraged to contact Tasmania Police on 131 444.

Supporting children and young people is our number one priority. If children, young people and their families need support in relation to this matter, please contact your school
 

On 27 August 2020, the Tasmanian Government announced an Independent Inquiry into the Tasmanian Department of Education’s (Department) Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Inquiry represents the Tasmanian Government’s ongoing commitment to keeping all children and young people in our schools, libraries and Child and Family Learning Centres safe and supported.

The State Government has now released the findings and recommendations from the Inquiry Report.

Understandably, this may be distressing, particularly for parents and carers of current students. It may also raise individual issues and concerns for you or your family.

Please rest assured that all our schools across the Department take the safety of all children and young people in our care seriously.

Some information in the report dates back to the 1960s and does not reflect the current situation in any of our schools, Child and Family Learning Centres, or libraries.

The Inquiry Report makes 20 recommendations, and the Department accepts all 20 recommendations.

We are deeply sorry for the past abuse in our schools, and we sincerely apologise to the victims and survivors. We are fully committed to making our schools safe.

We welcome the findings of the Inquiry. It is an expert-led and independent assessment of our organisation. It provides practical steps for us to continue to improve. It will complement, not substitute, the ongoing implementation of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RCIRCSA).

Over the next 12 months, the Department will prioritise and commence implementation of all recommendations from the Inquiry. This will occur alongside full implementation of the RCIRCSA recommendations and the nationally agreed Child Safe Standards. We will also implement any further recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry.

We are fully committed to making our systems, policies, processes and procedures stronger. We are embedding a culture where child safety is everybody’s responsibility—in our schools, libraries and Child and Family Learning Centres.

We recognise and regret our past failings. They have left a lasting and negative impact on the lives of victims and survivors—and for this we are truly sorry.

We will continue to work hard to correct the wrongs of the past and put in place measures to safeguard and protect the children in our care.

All children and young people have the right to an education, to be heard, and to be kept safe from harm. In improving the way we keep children safe, their views and voices will be front and centre. This is our greatest commitment and our highest priority.

The findings and recommendations from the DoE Inquiry can be found here

Further information on the Department’s response to the Inquiry can be found in the Department of Education’s Responses to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

The Inquiry Terms of Reference can be found here

A Frequently Asked Questions document can be found here

Where to seek support

If the information on this website causes you any distress or raises any questions or concerns for you, additional options for advice and support are listed below:

Beyond Blue – Call 1300 224 636 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au
Mental health and wellbeing organisation supporting those affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.    

Employee Assistance Program
Department of Education employees may access the Employee Assistance Program, Newport & Wildman, by phone on 1800 650 204 or by email at admin@newportwildman.com.au

1800 Respect – Call 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800respect.org.au
24/7 telephone and online crisis support, information and immediate referral to specialist counselling for anyone in Australia who has experienced or been impacted by sexual assault, or domestic or family violence

Lifeline – Call 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au
24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention.

Sexual Assault Support Service Inc – 03 6231 1811/03 6231 0044
Community based service committed to providing high quality support and information services to survivors of sexual assault.