The National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) was established to provide support to people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended the Scheme’s establishment. The Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and will continue for 10 years.
The Scheme is governed by the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Act 2018 (Cth) (the NRS Act).
The Scheme provides three components of redress:
- A redress payment of up to $150,000
- Access to counselling and psychological services
- A direct personal response.
Many non-government institutions intend to participate in the Scheme to provide meaningful redress to those who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.
Those institutions participating in the Scheme found to be responsible for institutional child sexual abuse will be required to pay their share of the cost of redress, as well as contribute towards the Scheme’s administrative costs. Participating institutions found responsible may also be required to provide a direct personal response.
To participate in the Scheme, an institution must be declared to be a ‘participating institution’. Both current and defunct institutions may be declared to be participating institutions. Two or more participating institutions may also form a group and be declared to be a ‘participating group’. A ‘lone’ participating institution is a participating institution that is not part of a participating group.
The NRS Act allows for participating institutions and participating groups to have a ‘representative’ for the purposes of the Scheme.
An incorporated lone participating institution may have a representative. An unincorporated lone participating institution and a participating group must have a representative. A defunct institution must also have a representative. A participating group must also have a representative.
Under the NRS Act, the obligations and liabilities of the representative depend on the form of the participating institution - whether it is a lone institution, part of a participating group or a defunct institution. Duties of the representative may include providing a direct personal response, providing information to the Scheme, and/or paying a funding contribution.
Participating institutions or participating groups that establish a new organisation to be a ‘representative’ for the purposes of the Scheme may wish to apply to have the ACNC register that organisation as a charity.
Charity registration is voluntary, and we have more information on the benefits of charity registration.
To be eligible for charity registration, all of the organisation’s purposes must be:
- charitable or,
- 'incidental or ancillary to’ and in aid of, charitable purposes.
The ACNC expects that many organisations that intend to be representatives will have objects that indicate a charitable purpose of advancing social or public welfare.
Such organisations may also be eligible for ACNC registration under the subtype Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) if they meet all the requirements.
A PBI is a charitable institution with a main purpose of providing benevolent relief to people in need. An organisation that is eligible for registration as a PBI, is also likely to be eligible for registration under the subtype ‘advancing social or public welfare’. Read more information about PBIs.
Organisations may be eligible to be registered as more than one subtype (on the basis that they have more than one charitable purpose) on a case-by case-basis.
Both participating institutions and participating groups will determine the entity type or legal structure most appropriate for the organisation. The ACNC expects that many national institutions will adopt the legal structure of a public company limited by guarantee.
The ACNC has a template constitution for companies limited by guarantee. It is important to make sure that the new organisation's governing rules include:
- a statement of objects that meets the charitable purpose requirements above; and
- suitable not-for-profit and winding up clauses.