Case Study 16: Diocese of Melbourne

Case study 16 examined the principles, practices and procedures of the Melbourne Response.

The Melbourne Response  was put in place by the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1996 to respond to allegations from people who were sexually abused by priests, religious and lay people under the control of the Archbishop of Melbourne.

The hearing heard evidence from three people who engaged with the Melbourne Response : Mrs Christine Foster, Mr Paul Hersbach, and another survivor known as AFA.

The case study explored the key features of the Melbourne Response  including:

•  the activities of the independent commissioners engaged to investigate allegations of sexual abuse and determine whether the abuse occurred

•  a counselling and professional support service, known as Carelink, and

•  a compensation panel charged with making recommendations as to the ex gratia compensation payments the Archdiocese should make to survivors.

These elements are funded by the Archdiocese but operate independently of the Archdiocese.

This hearing provided the Royal Commission with an opportunity to inquire into the structure, processes and operation of the Melbourne Response  in the context of its broader consideration of redress schemes.

At the hearing, Archbishop Hart announced the engagement of retired Federal Court Judge, the Hon Donnell Ryan QC, to review aspects of the Melbourne Response , including the cap on payments, which is currently set at $75,000.

Witness List and Order

Opening Statements and witness statements


Hearing room updates

Report of Case Study No. 16 - The Melbourne Response

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The Council concluded its work on 30 April 2018 and is no longer distributing any material about its work.