The Tasmanian government's handling of child sexual abuse within three of its key institutions since 2000 will be under the microscope from today, with the state's commission of inquiry beginning this morning.
The commission, consisting of commissioners the Honourable Marcia Neave AO, as president, and Professor Leah Bromfield and former Family Court Justice the Honourable Robert Benjamin AM, is set to provide its first update on proceedings from 10am.
Premier Peter Gutwein announced the Commission of Inquiry into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in November 2020, prompted by allegations of institutional inaction towards alleged paedophile nurse James Geoffrey Griffin, who was accused of preying on children under his care at the Launceston General Hospital.
On the day Mr Gutwein made the announcement, he told of further allegations against a Tasmanian teacher in the North, and a Tasmanian Mental Health service employee
He said Tasmanians should "ready themselves" as hundreds of claims about child sexual abuse had already come to light, within government hospitals, public schools and youth detention centres, as well as government funded institutions, for example out of home care settings.
"This is difficult, but important and necessary work," he said.
"It shows how serious we are as a Government to addressing these matters. I proud our Government is shining a light on an area that has been dark for too long."
The inquiry is tasked to examine allegations of child sexual abuse and institutional responses within the Department of Education, the Tasmanian Health Service and Department of Health with particular focus on Griffin, and the Communities Tasmania regarding allegations of abuse at the Ashley Youth Detention Centre.
It will make recommendations for change, looking at the systemic issues involved, and options for reform.
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