My thoughts today are with all those Australians for whom this case reawakens old trauma and all those Australians still mourning someone stolen by the pain of child abuse.
We can never underestimate the courage and resilience it takes for a survivor of child abuse to seek justice.
One of the cold hard truths revealed by prime minister Gillard’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse was that survivors and victims who sought help were seldom believed.
Instead, against the weight and power of both church and the state, they were marginalised, shamed and reabused. For decades, institutions chose to cover for offenders and conceal their crimes because they valued their reputations more than the lives of children in their care.
Last year, as a parliament and a nation we apologised for the abuse, the neglect, the wilful blindness, the cries for help that were heard and ignored. But saying sorry wasn’t the end of the road. The test is actions, not words. That’s why we need faster progress on national redress for survivors and why every institution needs to sign up, immediately.