College response to National Apology
author: John Crowley
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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