Redress, Response and Restoration Conference



University of Newcastle, City Campus


Thursday 7 and Friday 8 October 2021


The conference will examine the principal responses by government, researchers, advocates, stakeholders and relevant service providers to the key recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The conference will engage in a critical, interdisciplinary, broad industry review of the impact of the recommendations.

The conference will hear from experts across government, research, industry and stakeholder groups and aims to contribute to building knowledge around child safety, trauma informed care of survivors and the function of royal commissions as mechanisms of redress and justice delivery.

The conference is funded by the Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle.


The two-day conference features 4 workshops across both days and will hear from groups of experts in the relevant areas followed by discussion and engagement

Workshop 1: Legal Justice Responses - Thursday morning

The Royal Commission made over 100 recommendations regarding changes to the ways in which state and commonwealth laws manage criminal and civil justice responses to complaints of institutional child sexual abuse across a range of jurisdictions (Final Report: Criminal Justice & Re-dress and Civil Litigation 2017). This session will examine the implementation of laws and civil justice options covering the key areas in the two states with the highest rates of institutional child sexual abuse: NSW and Victoria.

Workshop 2: Redress and Restorative Justice – Thursday afternoon

The Royal Commission recommended a number of avenues of restorative justice and redress beyond legal measures, the most significant of which has been the controversial national redress scheme for survivors (Final Report, Redress & Civil Litigation Report, 2017). This session will examine responses to these measures by researchers, survivors and key advocacy groups in reflecting on how to improve redress for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and how to broaden the remit of restorative justice beyond procedural claims.

Workshop 3: Care Leavers and Survivors – Re-framing trauma and implementing trauma care – Friday morning

Through its work the Royal Commission addressed and re-framed the discourse of complex trauma typically experienced by survivors. This discourse underpinned the Royal Commission’s efforts at articulating and promoting trauma-informed care processes and in doing so it developed new frameworks for trauma research and practice in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. This session will examine these new understandings of trauma and its application into practice including the implementation of national guidelines (2019) of complex trauma by the Blue Knot Foundation.

Workshop 4 Creating Child Safe Institutions – Friday afternoon

The heart of the Royal Commission recommendations involved the establishment of institutional practices that will ensure the safety and protection of children in all Australian institutions. This session assesses the roll out of policy changes across key organisations by experts in local, regional and national organisations and reports on latest research on child-safe institutions.

Venue and Travel

Newcastle is a vibrant city situated on the east coast of NSW. It is a 2.5 hour drive or train ride from Sydney. The university campus is located in the centre of the city close to hotels, restaurants and beaches.

The city campus is located in Hunter Street Newcastle

There are parking stations here. Newcastle maps and guides can be found here. Accommodation options can be found here.


Anyone with an interest in this area can attend by registering through the link (coming soon). Registration fees will be on a sliding scale and available for one or two-day registration.

Conference Outcomes

Building and sharing our collective knowledge of what makes children safe in our organisations as well and the best ways to deliver justice to survivors is our main goal. We will be producing a special issue of a relevant journal and ensuring that the information we gather is shared as widely as possible.

Keynote Speakers

Coming soon.

Organising Committee

Dr Kathleen McPhillips

Conference Convenor, Senior Lecturer in Sociology

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Dr Tamara Blakemore

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

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Dr Cathy Kezelman AM

President, Blue Knot Foundation
  • T: +61 2 8920 3611

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Associate Professor Michael Salter

Scientia Fellow, Associate Professor of Criminology, University of New South Wales

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