Border’s chance to tell of abuse

BORDER victims could get their chance to address the royal commission on child abuse within the next few months.

Dates have not yet been set, but a spokeswoman said yesterday that Albury and Wodonga would definitely be visited by the commission.

“It’s likely that the commission will be there at some stage in the first half of this year,” she said.

“We’re definitely looking to get to as many regional areas as we can.”

Officers of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have visited Ballarat and Bendigo this week.

Chief executive Janette Dines said those hearings would involve informal meetings with community groups and service providers to share information about the work of the commission.

The spokeswoman said the Border visits could involve a combination of public and private hearings.

But that would not be established until a later date, she said.

Ms Dines said community-based organisations played an important role in supporting their clients to “engage with the royal commission”.

That includes making submissions in response to issues papers on various topics.

This week’s Bendigo and Ballarat meetings will be followed by a visit to the region by royal commissioners, including chairman Justice Peter McClellan, next month.

A similar process is likely to happen when the commission visits the Border.

The spokeswoman encouraged anyone with a story to tell to contact the commission, either over the phone, in writing or through a private, face-to-face meeting.

People can provide their details to the commission by calling 1800 099 340 between 8am and 8pm.

A commission officer will then make contact to ask for details about their experience, which could result in a private session with one or two royal commissioners.

The commission can be emailed at registerinterest@childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au, or by writing to GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW, 2001.

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