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The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will sit on December 14 to publicly mark the conclusion of the 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.

“Since then we have held 57 public hearings, where we sat for 444 days and heard evidence of more than 1,300 witnesses. Commissioners have also listened to the personal accounts of almost 8,000 survivors of child sexual abuse in institutions through ‘private sessions’.

“Combined with our comprehensive policy and research program, the Royal Commission has been able to contribute to the community’s understanding and awareness of institutional child sexual abuse.”

Mr Reed said that during the life of the Royal Commission, thousands of individuals, including survivors, academics, legal practitioners, government representatives and advocacy and support groups have contributed to its work.

“We couldn’t have achieved what we have so far without the input and support of so many,” Mr Reed said.

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, the Chair of the Royal Commission, will present the National Library of Australia with a book of around one thousand messages written by survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

The book titled, ‘Message to Australia’ is a collation of personal messages written by those who shared their story to the Royal Commission in a private session. The messages, addressed to the Australian community, tell of survivors’ experiences and their hopes for creating a safer environment for children in the future. Once handed to the National Library, the book will be accessible to members of the public.

This sitting will be open to the public, with limited seating available.

For those who are unable to attend, the sitting will be streamed live to the public via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au

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

Date:                     Thursday 14 December

Sitting times:       9:30am AEDT (the sitting is expected to conclude by 10:00am AEDT)

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