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College response to National Apology

author: John Crowley

21 Oct

College response to National Apology

A message from the Headmaster in response to the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Today’s Prime Minister’s National Apology to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse represents a much-awaited and long-overdue moment in the history of our nation. For too many years, even decades, these brave men and women who were horribly betrayed by the people entrusted with their care have fought for justice, acknowledgement and remorse. We hope that today’s National Apology provides some solace and comfort but we also stress the importance that an apology is not a conclusion, merely another step on the journey towards the hope of healing. What happens now at a national level is far more important than the words uttered by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Words without action disappear quickly and are meaningless. It must be our hope as a College community that today’s apology is reinforced with ongoing, meaningful initiatives to ensure that those who were hurt are properly compensated and assisted in their healing while also implementing any means necessary to ensure such a travesty can never occur again.

St Patrick’s College offered its unreserved apology to victims and survivors in June last year and has since implemented an ongoing Old Collegians Association Pastoral Care Program which is constantly providing tangible assistance to many members of our community, including several of those who are victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. Operating through the College’s Development Office under the guidance of Alumni and Foundation Officer Lorrie Liston, our program quietly continues to grow by the day as we seek to harness the power of our volunteer network to help those in their times of most need. Our assistance can range from simple things like cooking meals or mowing lawns, to more complex tasks such as providing help with financial or legal advice.

We encourage everyone in our community to register as a volunteer with the Pastoral Care Program as there may be a day when your area of expertise may be called upon. Anyone interested in joining can contact Lorrie at lliston@stpats.vic.edu.au or by calling 5322 4442.

Please click on this link for a response to today's National Apology from Edmund Rice Education Australia Executive Director, Mr Wayne Tinsey.

Finally, I ask you to consider joining us in the following prayer which is being shared throughout Catholic Education in the Ballarat Diocese today.

Mr John Crowley

Headmaster

 

Loving God

 

We pray for the people in Australia

who were hurt as children

when they were supposed to be

loved and cared for.

 

We give thanks for their courage

and strength in telling their stories,

and we pray for their healing.

 

We also give thanks that

through their stories,

other children have

been saved from harm.

 

We pray that we all

learn from the past

so that we can do our very best

to not let this happen again.

 

We offer this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord