MEDIA STATEMENT OF FACTS FOR ‘THE PROJECT’
Statement on Royal Commission Case Study 18 - ALA
The predatory sexual abuse that happened to ALA on the Sunshine Coast at the hands of a youth leader between 2004 and 2006 was shocking and reprehensible, and through the legal justice system, the perpetrator was tried and sentenced for his crimes.
- The Queensland State Executive was made aware of the sexual abuse once it was reported to police and in the hands of the authorities. The State leadership understood that support was being provided to ALA and his family through the local church’s new senior pastor.
- A sum of $550,000 was settled through a mediation process with the insurance company representing the local church. During this process ALA was legally represented.
- ALA and his parents have met with senior ACC leadership, where deepest sympathy and regret was expressed for the way he was treated by the perpetrator and the failure of the local church to protect him.
- A number of offers of counselling services have been made to ALA and his family. This offer stands for both him and his family.
Statement on measures implemented by the ACC following the Royal Commission
The ACC is committed to being vigilant that such an incident of sexual abuse would not happen again, and the ACC continues to explore the professional paths available that can help and care for victims, to find peace and healing in their future.
- The commitment to Child Protection has been a major focus of the Australian Christian Churches, through our Safer Churches strategy, which is mandatory to all ACC pastors and churches.
- An ACC National Child Protection Helpline was established for anyone with concerns about the safety of children at an ACC church.
- Since 2015, over 11,000 ACC people and credential holders have completed our Safer Churches induction training.
- The ACC is also committed to support survivors of child sexual abuse and has been involved in the plans for the National Redress Scheme since the first roundtable gatherings with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014.
The autonomous nature of churches in the Movement has meant that the ACC cannot opt-in to the Scheme on behalf of its members, yet a solution was developed to enable our churches to opt-in through the financial services arm of the ACC, and in August 2019, ACS Mutual was formally accepted and recognised as a Participating Group under the National Redress Scheme. A large number of our churches have already confirmed their participation in the Scheme and are working through the onboarding process. 11 November 2019