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Published: 12 December 2017
Author: Amy Olver

ABC doco hails people who made Australia face its sex abuse shame

Tonight, ABC airs a documentary that honours the people who challenged the prevailing apathy towards sexual abuse within government and religious institutions, and whose actions led to the establishment of the ground breaking Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Called Undeniable, the documentary features interviews with courageous people such the Melbourne parents Chrissie and Anthony Foster who learned in the 1990s that two of their daughters, Emma and Katie, were raped by their local priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Also featured is Rob Walsh, who was one of the survivors who helped publicise the consequences of abuse by working with police to expose a tragically high number of suicides in the city of Ballarat.

Link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/undeniable-the-people-behind-the-child-abuse-royal-commission/9222566

Watch Undeniable tonight on ABC TV at 9:30pm or later on iview.

Online timeline on history of sexual abuse

The ABC has also published on line an excellent timeline about the events and people that pushed the issue into the public arena.

Link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-12/royal-commission-child-sexual-abuse-timeline/9222816

Royal Commission’s final public event

Then this Thursday 14 December, the Royal Commission itself will have its final public sitting to mark the conclusion of its five-year long inquiry.

Royal Commission CEO, Philip Reed, said the sitting will be a chance for Commissioners to thank the community for their continued support of the Royal Commission and its work.

"When we began in 2013, we had no idea just how widespread or prevalent child sexual abuse in institutions was in Australia, or how many people would come forward to share their story," Mr Reed said. 

Over its five year history, the Commission has held 57 public hearings, heard evidence of more than 1,300 witnesses and listened to the personal accounts of almost 8,000 survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions through 'private sessions’.

The Royal Commission’s final report will be delivered to the Governor General on Friday 15 December 2017.

It is unclear when the report will be tabled in parliament but our team will be providing commentary once the report is released. 

Event: Royal Commission Final Sitting

Date: Thursday 14 December

Sitting times: 9.30 am AEDT (the sitting is expected to conclude by 10.00 am AEDT)

Location: Hearing Room 1, Level 17, Governor Macquarie Tower, 1 Farrer Place, Sydney