Royal Commission News

All the latest news from the Child Abuse Royal Commission and updates on related issues.

Malcolm Turnbull September 25, 2017 by Peter Kelso Lawyer slams Mr Turnbull’s National Redress Scheme

This time last year the Prime Minister announced the Commonwealth Government was committed to a $4.3 billion National Redress Scheme (NRS) to compensate victims of child abuse. The Scheme was applauded by advocacy groups and…

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Black and white image of three children September 20, 2017 by Peter Kelso No redress for abused foster children

Did you know that State governments are refusing to compensate children abused in foster homes? Did you know that the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sex abuse has shut the door on…

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Gerald-ridsdale September 5, 2017 by Peter Kelso Ridsdale sentenced again

Gerald Ridsdale sentenced to another 11 years in prison for child sexual abuse Australia’s most notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale has been sentenced on August 31st for abusing 12 children from the 1960’s and 80’s….

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woman-in-catholic-church August 22, 2017 by Peter Kelso Will the Catholic Church ever learn their lesson?

It’s no longer astonishing when you hear there is new evidence to suggest the Catholic Church covered up paedophile priests and teachers. It’s simply disappointing. So many young lives ruined by the actions of abhorrent…

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Australian Navy Cadets August 8, 2017 by Peter Kelso Abuse within the Australian Armed Forces

There is a long history of sexual and physical abuse in the Australian Armed Forces. The Child Abuse Royal Commission has heard from 111 people with plausible stories of abuse in the armed forces. These…

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cardinal-pell July 10, 2017 by Peter Kelso How George Pell rose to the Vatican

The history of George Pell Climbing the ranks into the Vatican – how Australian Cardinal George Pell went from a small town football player to the Vatican’s third in command. 1941 – George was born…

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girl with arms outstretched July 10, 2017 by Peter Kelso The Power of Forgiveness. The Decision to Get Better, Not Bitter

I have worked with victims of abuse for nearly 30 years. I have observed anger and bitterness at the very coalface. It’s the kind of bitterness which is completely warranted, considering the trauma these victims…

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money-for-pell's-defence July 5, 2017 by Peter Kelso Who will pay for Cardinal Pell’s defence?

We have been told that Cardinal Pell has hired top criminal lawyer Robert Richter QC to defend him against the Victoria Director of Public Prosecutions (‘the Crown’). Richter will have one or two junior barristers…

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george-pell June 30, 2017 by Peter Kelso What will happen to Australia’s most hated man, George Pell?

Why Australia hates George Pell Cardinal George Pell is a household name for all the wrong reasons. Why is he so unpopular? Why do so many people spew hatred towards him at the mention of…

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Ibrahim-Omerdic June 22, 2017 by Peter Kelso Muslim Imam Walks Free

In this monthly wrap up we’ve got a summary of the very latest news in the Royal Commission and institutional abuse. Several charges have been dropped for a Muslim Imam who conducted the wedding of…

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peter-dutton June 16, 2017 by Peter Kelso When will the Government recognise its own abuse victims?

Has the Commonwealth Government got its priorities right? This week the Commonwealth Government settled a nuisance class action with 1,900 asylum seekers stuck on Manus Island detention centre. Detainees alleged they were mistreated and deprived…

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peter-kelso-family June 8, 2017 by Peter Kelso My Bizarre Childhood Part IV

How I found my family after 17 years This is part four of my series on my childhood as a ward of the State. If you haven’t read the previous articles you can view them…

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pilbara-western-australia June 7, 2017 by Peter Kelso Pilbara region – a hive of child sex abuse

Over 30 Men arrested and charged with child sex offences More than 30 men in the Pilbara region of Western Australia have been charged with close to 300 counts of child sex abuse. This is…

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cardinal-pell May 24, 2017 by Peter Kelso Pell might finally face justice

Cardinal Pell may soon face child sex charges The Director of Public Prosecutions has given advice to the Victorian Police about an investigation into Cardinal George Pell. Australia’s most hated man has faced many accusations…

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peter-kelso-aged-six May 23, 2017 by Peter Kelso My bizarre childhood Part III

Image: Me on my sixth birthday  This is part three of my series on my childhood as a ward of the State. If you haven’t read the previous articles you can check them out here…

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peter-mcclellan May 22, 2017 by Peter Kelso Was the Child Abuse Royal Commission a waste of time?

What has the Child Abuse Royal Commission actually achieved? Many will be asking this question when Justice Peter McClellan hands down his final report in December 2017. What will the Commission recommend? Will anything change?…

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man-looking-into-sunset May 19, 2017 by Peter Kelso Why Kelso Lawyers might not be able to take on your case

Are you a victim of clergy or institutional abuse who has filled in our Claimant Information Form? You will have filled in the form and sent it through to our team. You will have heard…

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peter-kelso-school-photo-edit May 12, 2017 by Peter Kelso My bizarre upbringing with foster parents Part II

The photo is of myself and my peers at Meadowbank Boys’ High Third Year – 1971  This is the second chapter of a series about my personal experiences of childhood abuse. If you haven’t already…

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peter-kelso-as-a-child May 4, 2017 by Peter Kelso My brutal childhood as a State ward

Image: Peter Kelso (highlighted) before he was removed. Shown here with (L-R) Billy, Dianne and Arthur. I was just five years old when my mother arranged to give me away to the Child Welfare Department….

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gerald-ridsdale May 2, 2017 by Peter Kelso Australia’s worst paedophile priest charged again

Prolific paedophile priest admits to more counts of child abuse. 82-year-old paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale pleaded guilty to 20 counts of child abuse. He was first convicted in 1994. Ridsdale was eligible for parole in…

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alan-jones April 28, 2017 by Peter Kelso Is there one rule for Muslims and another for the rest?

Radio broadcaster Alan Jones joins Peter Kelso’s crusade against the Royal Commission’s big mistake: its failure to investigate Islamic groups for child sex offences. Alan Jones: Well look just before we go tonight the Royal…

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boy-at-beach April 24, 2017 by Peter Kelso Abused foster children deserve compensation too

Did you know children placed with foster parents in family homes have very limited rights to be compensated by the government for any sexual, physical or emotional abuse? Foster children are some of the most…

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salvation-army April 20, 2017 by Peter Kelso Father of Salvation Army Leader charged with Child Sex Offences

Father of Salvation Army leader charged with child sex offences Ray Pethybridge has been charged with 14 sexual offences. Several of these offences were allegedly perpetrated against underaged girls. Pethybridge (whose son is a high…

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parramatta-girls-training-school April 10, 2017 by Peter Kelso Sadistic perverts employed at Parramatta Girls’ Home

The Parramatta Girls’ Training School was an institution sadly run like many others throughout the 1950’s to the 70’s. Sexual abuse, psychological abuse and state sanctioned slave labour weren’t just accepted regular practice at Parramatta…

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Apology-description April 6, 2017 by Peter Kelso Apologise to the victims

Almost all institutions involved in the Royal Commission are offering verbal and written apologies to survivors of historical child abuse. It has become ‘standard practice’ where both parties are legally represented but agree to settle…

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girl-on-swing April 1, 2017 by Peter Kelso The church should be the safest place for children

My hope for the future of the church Have you ever noticed how easily children believe in the wonder of faith? Children seem to have a natural curiosity about God. They are drawn to the…

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newcastle-cathedral-at-night March 30, 2017 by Peter Kelso Destroy the Newcastle Cathedral, Part II

Last week I wrote an opinion piece that was an inflammatory and passionate call for significant change. The piece called for a radical internal reform of the Anglican Church in Newcastle. I made the plea…

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bishop-greg-thomspson March 29, 2017 by Peter Kelso Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson resigns after sharing tragic story of abuse

Newcastle Bishop resigns after sharing his story of abuse amidst pressure from the Anglican Church Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson announced his retirement after sharing his tragic history as a victim of sexual abuse. The…

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newcastle-cathedral March 21, 2017 by Peter Kelso Time to demolish the paedophile nest on the hill

Everyone who lives in Newcastle and the Hunter knows the once-iconic Anglican Cathedral. The imposing building dominates the Newcastle skyline on its perch right up there on the hill above the city. The Newcastle Anglican…

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Uniting-church-royal-commission March 17, 2017 by Peter Kelso Latest Royal Commission news- Jehovah’s Witnesses defend cruel practices and Uniting Church apologises to victims

Uniting Church apologises to victims and Jehovah’s Witnesses defend practices The Uniting Church in Australia has apologised to victims of child sexual abuse, whilst Jehovah’s Witness elders have defended their practices of shunning victims. The…

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money-tax-exemption March 14, 2017 by Peter Kelso Let’s strip all churches of tax exempt status

Guess how much money the combined churches in Australia make in one year. I’ll give you a hint – it’s a truckload of cash. Over $30 billion. The Catholic Church owns over half of that…

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robert-best-pries-paedophile March 7, 2017 by Peter Kelso Church spends over $1.5 million dollars to defend a paedophile

Catholic Church funds legal fees of Christian Brothers paedophile Robert Best is just one of many prolific paedophiles in The Christian Brothers – an institution within the Catholic Church. On the second of March, Best…

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life-of-prayer-for-priest March 3, 2017 by Peter Kelso The Pope sentences Catholic priest paedophile to a life of prayer

The Catholic Church has done it again. Once more the leaders of the Catholic Church have shown their blatant disregard for the law. Amidst all the heart-tugging apologies and expressions of supposed outrage from leading…

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catholic-church-australia March 1, 2017 by Peter Kelso Why you need to speak out against child abuse

In 1962, when I was five, I was taken from my parents and made a ward of the state. As a child, I was a victim of institutional abuse. Now, the team at Kelso Lawyers…

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muslim-child-abuse February 20, 2017 by Peter Kelso Muslim child abuse in Australia

We are 50 hearings into the Royal Commission into Child Abuse without a single hearing into child abuse within the Islamic community of Australia. With systemic abuse uncovered in a number of religious organisations across the…

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man-looking-out-window February 17, 2017 by Peter Kelso Royal Commission finds a sickening amount of child sex offenders in the Catholic Church

Unprecedented level of Paedophilia in the Catholic Church In a 35-year period from 1980 to 2015 almost 4500 allegations of child abuse were made to church authorities- involving roughly 1880 offenders. This unprecedented number demonstrates…

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candles-in-church February 15, 2017 by Peter Kelso Catholic Church in Australia

The question we need to ask ourselves about the Catholic Church in Australia Have you been outraged by the sheer magnitude of the problem of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and religious brothers from…

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Roman-Polanski February 9, 2017 by Peter Kelso Roman Polanski appointment causes fury

Plus notorious paedophile’s shocking reign of terror, and convicted paedophile up for parole after serving just three and a half years. Forty years after fleeing the US to escape conviction for raping a 13-year-old girl,…

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family-holding-hands January 25, 2017 by Peter Kelso Government plan aims to boost adoption rates of at-risk kids

Proposed Government plan aims to boost adoption rates of at-risk kids in NSW Abusive parents will have just two years to turn their lives around and permanently claim back their children in care or at-risk…

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peter-kelso January 23, 2017 by Peter Kelso Australian solicitor offers hope for UK sexual abuse survivors seeking justice

Dear Survivors, I have been following your country’s public inquiry into child sex abuse since it started in March 2015. Unfortunately, it’s been a disaster from the beginning. The Inquiry has now appointed its fourth…

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Illustration of child and teddy bear separated January 23, 2017 by Peter Kelso Gregory Vincent Coffey abused multiple children through the 1970s and 80s

He was a notorious conman who not only avoided prison despite being convicted three times, but also was hired as a teacher and promoted to school principal while on a good behaviour bond for child…

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Faces of shame January 9, 2017 by Peter Kelso Paedophile Faces of Shame

They were all respected men. They were all trusted to care for the children under their supervision. Instead, they manipulated, groomed, abused and tortured those they were supposed to protect. They are wolves hiding in…

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Man walking across the beach January 4, 2017 by Peter Kelso Open Letter to Bishop Roger

Dear Bishop Roger, I am a solicitor in Newcastle. I have lived here since 1984. I act for many survivors of institutional child abuse all around Australia. For a considerable part of my time here…

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Woman facing sunset over water December 19, 2016 by Peter Kelso How compensation can change your life

Let’s be honest. We all know you can’t change the past. But you can do something about improving your future. And a lump sum of compensation money, used wisely, can be life changing. People out…

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Two hands joined December 12, 2016 by Peter Kelso To mediate or litigate?

There has been a significant drop in the number of civil cases that have ended up in the courts over the last few years. These days, claims for compensation are more often being mediated privately…

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man on his knees praying December 5, 2016 by Peter Kelso Anglican bishop offered promotion for sexual favours

The current Anglican bishop of Newcastle, Greg Thompson, has told the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that he was sexually assaulted by priest Eric Baker during the 1970s. Thompson was 19 at the time,…

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male students sitting on rock November 23, 2016 by Peter Kelso Does Australia need a National Redress Scheme?

Advocacy groups have been funded for years to campaign for compensation for people who have been abused as children by clergy, teachers, foster carers, house parents, home superintendents and other institutional workers. They latched onto…

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Child at beach with sunset November 17, 2016 by Peter Kelso Child sex abuse victims to receive $150,000 each

Institutional child sex abuse survivors are set to receive up to $150,000 each under a new Federal Government compensation scheme. States, territories and institutions — including churches — can opt in to the Commonwealth program…

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Row of jail cells November 9, 2016 by Peter Kelso Dance teacher, Grant Davies to serve 18 years

Paedophile dance teacher to serve 18 years in prison Former Sydney dance teacher Grant Davies will spend at least 18 years in prison after being convicted for child sex abuse. He repeatedly abused girls during…

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Run down locker room November 4, 2016 by Peter Kelso Royal Commission follow up essential for Parramatta Girls Home and Hay Institute survivors

As the dust settles on the the Child Abuse Royal Commission’s 2014 hearing into the State government’s response to child abuse at Parramatta and Hay, in my view, we need to have an in-depth review…

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull October 10, 2016 by Peter Kelso PM commits to national redress scheme

PM Turnbull commits to $4.3-billion national redress scheme Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed to a multi-billion-dollar redress scheme proposed by the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse. Turnbull’s commitment came during a private meeting…

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woman with sparkler September 21, 2016 by Peter Kelso What happens after I have made a compensation claim?

Many survivors of child abuse have had their abuser living ‘rent-free’ in their head in the decades after the abuse. Receiving a genuine apology and a fair compensation payout from the institution, alongside counselling support, can…

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Young girl in the sunshine September 18, 2016 by Peter Kelso Time frame and costs involved with seeking compensation

If you’ve been a victim of clergy or institutional child abuse and are interested in seeking compensation, the costs and time frame involved with making the claim will be factors you’ve likely considered. We’ve outlined what you…

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elderly man sitting at table in cafe September 15, 2016 by Peter Kelso What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

There are two pathways to seeking compensation for survivors of clergy and institutional child abuse. We have found that seeking compensation through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is much better suited to historical child abuse cases. ADR…

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Man writing on paper September 12, 2016 by Peter Kelso Giving a statement in your compensation case

To build a case for compensation, we will need to draft a comprehensive statement that details the abuse and the impact it has had on your life. The solicitor working on your case will work…

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writing on table September 7, 2016 by Peter Kelso Making a compensation claim

Kelso Lawyers understand that revisiting past memories can be a distressing experience and we go to great lengths to ensure that our process is as supportive as possible for survivors. Once Kelso Lawyers have accepted…

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Peter McClellan September 5, 2016 by Peter Kelso Archbishop Roger Herft pleads ignorance

Despite conceding that he first received a complaint about defrocked former Newcastle Dean Graeme Lawrence in 1995 and was made aware of further allegations against Lawrence in 1999, Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft has denied…

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Church child sexual abuse August 16, 2016 by Peter Kelso Pornography discovered in priest’s home

‘Distressing’ pornography discovered in senior priest’s home Former archdeacon of the Upper Hunter diocese, Colvin Ford, has told the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse that a collection of gay and child pornography found in…

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lowell goddard August 5, 2016 by Peter Kelso Sudden and unexplained resignation of Judge Lowell Goddard

Lowell Goddard has quit her post as Chair of the Child Sexual Inquiry in England and Wales. This sudden and unexplained move follows criticism of Goddard for not doing enough and for spending too much time overseas….

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how to make a compensation claim August 5, 2016 by Peter Kelso How to make a compensation claim for clergy and institutional child abuse

Many child abuse survivors are hesitant to engage in legal proceedings. It is often seen as a costly process tied up in red tape. We understand that. It’s for this reason that we follow a process…

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Large windows in church August 2, 2016 by Peter Kelso Cardinal George Pell implicated in child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell accused of child sex abuse across two decades Victorian police are investigating Cardinal George Pell following explosive testimony given to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. Pell is accused of multiple…

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young boy looking out window July 19, 2016 by Peter Kelso Marist Brothers sorry for sexual assault

Sexual assault survivor receives financial settlement from Marist Brothers Kelso Lawyers has secured a sincere apology and a substantial financial settlement from the Marist Brothers for brutal physical and sexual abuse that occurred at St…

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compensation July 13, 2016 by Peter Kelso Why compensation?

A victim of child sexual abuse may be eligible to seek compensation for the suffering they’ve endured. But why should a victim seek compensation? Victim compensation is a key component in the provision of justice in Australia. The…

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soldier-996536_1280 July 6, 2016 by Peter Kelso ADF child sex abuse exposed

Department of Defence silent on RAAF sex crimes The Department of Defence has failed to pay the psychologist bills of a former RAAF teenage cadet who was sexually abused by a cadet instructor. The Department…

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back of girl in black and white June 16, 2016 by Peter Kelso Two former ‘Parra Girls’ bosses charged with rape

Two former Parramatta Girls Training School bosses charged with rape Noel Greenaway and Frank Valentine have been charged with three counts of raping girls attending Parramatta Girls Training School. Greenaway was superintendent of the institution…

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Priest in church May 31, 2016 by Peter Kelso ‘Parra Girls’ forced into slave labour & Father O’Hearn finally brought to justice

‘Parra Girls’ forced into slave labour Survivors of brutal sexual and physical abuse whilst attending the Parramatta Girls Training School and The Hay Institution for Girls are encouraged to come forward. The abuse began during…

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Young-boy-looking-sad May 12, 2016 by Peter Kelso Qld Government to address statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims

The Queensland Government has taken the first steps to remove a time limit that has prevented thousands of child abuse survivors from suing for damages. Currently, the statute of limitations in Queensland means that child…

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View of St Vincent's Orphanage from the front lawn May 4, 2016 by Peter Kelso Sisters of Mercy & Blind Reporting Under Review

St Vincent’s Orphanage routine abuse straight from Dark Ages The Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has heard damning evidence about the abuse of children at the Sisters of Mercy-run St Vincent’s Orphanage at Neerkol,…

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Parramatta Girls School April 26, 2016 by Peter Kelso Parramatta Girls Training School

Shocking allegations of brutal sexual and physical abuse were heard as the Child Abuse Royal Commission focused its attention on the Parramatta Girls Training School and The Hay Institution for Girls. Allegations of abuse spanning…

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Source: Stocksnap [ https://stocksnap.io/photo/A4431D9AB1] Photographer: Mikael Kristenson April 22, 2016 by Peter Kelso Sporting clubs in firing line & Mulkearns’ no-frills funeral

Sporting clubs’ responses to child sexual abuse allegations are this month coming under the scrutiny of the Child Abuse Royal Commission, which has heard stories of horrific child sexual abuse by sports coaches. The Commission…

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KL_GeorgePell_20160216-632x421 February 16, 2016 by Peter Kelso Pell decision angers survivors & Hollingworth’s flawed response

Child abuse survivors were enraged this month by Justice Peter McClellan’s decision to allow Cardinal George Pell to give evidence to the Royal Commission via video link. Pell’s $20,000-a-day lawyer had argued vigorously that his…

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Illness has pervented George PEll from travelling to Sydney from Rome December 15, 2015 by Peter Kelso Pell’s appearance postponed & Jehovah’s Witnesses rebuked

Pell’s Royal Commission appearance postponed and Jehovah’s Witnesses rebuked for inaction. Cardinal George Pell’s much anticipated appearance in the witness box at the Child Abuse Royal Commission this month has been postponed. The Royal Commission…

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MelbourneChurchInterior-632x374 December 11, 2015 by Peter Kelso No action on paedophile priest, and vandals target Pell

Doveton parish priest Father Peter Searson molested children in the confessional, and sexually abused a nine-year-old altar boy every Saturday for six months. Searson paid the boy a pittance to do chores around his home,…

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