Thursday, 22 January 2015

Royal Commission Hearing into Knox Grammar

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today announced a public hearing into Knox Grammar School in Sydney and the Uniting Church in Australia.

The public hearing that will commence on 23 February will examine the response of the School and the Church to concerns raised about sexual abuse of students by a number of teachers at Knox between 1970 and 2012.

At this time I would particularly like to acknowledge the pain and suffering of all those who have experienced abuse at Knox.

The sexual abuse of children is criminal behaviour that is totally abhorrent and unacceptable, and we commend the courage of the survivors and their families for coming forward.

Knox Grammar was founded as a Presbyterian Boys School in 1924 and came under the responsibility of the Uniting Church in Australia at church union in 1977. The Knox School Council is appointed by, and responsible to, the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT.

The Uniting Church in Australia has been working constructively with the Royal Commission since its inception.

We have pledged that we will not hide from the truth, however painful it may be, and we will seek, with compassion and humility, to address whatever issues and challenges may emerge for us; to make amends for what has happened in the past; support survivors and their families to achieve healing, justice and reconciliation; and strive for a safer environment for children within the schools we are associated with.

The Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and the ACT, Rev. Myung Hwa Park, has issued a statement today affirming its intention to work openly and transparently with the Royal Commission in its investigations into this matter.

Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney

Read the NSW/ACT Moderator's statement here.

Read the Royal Commission's Media Release of 22 Jan 2015 announcing the Public Hearing here.

If you have experienced child sexual abuse within the Uniting Church or one of its predecessor churches - in a congregation or within an institution or service - you are encouraged to contact the Royal Commission to tell your story.