16 August 2020 | The Seventh-day Adventist denomination in Australia has confirmed that it is signing up for the National Redress Scheme (NRS) for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse. The national government plan is aimed at helping survivors of abuse to access counseling, a direct personal response and a redress payment.

Participating organizations were required to formally notify the NRS of their intention to opt into the scheme by June 30, 2020. This was done on behalf of the Adventist Church by AdSAFE, an affiliated agency of the denomination’s South Pacific Division on May 28. Natalie Renshaw, from AdSAFE survivor services and redress, said AdSAFE has been working closely with the NRS Taskforce, with the goal of the denomination and all its entities joining the scheme.

“It is anticipated that the Adventist Church will be a fully participating member of the NRS well before the deadline of December 31, 2020,” Renshaw said. “In the meantime, for those survivors who wish to access redress now, AdSAFE continues to operate its own internal redress scheme.”

The Adventist denomination established its internal redress scheme in early 2017, based on recommendations from the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and prior to the NRS being set up. The denomination’s internal redress scheme will continue to provide access to redress for survivors both in Australia and New Zealand up to the time the Australian Church officially joins the NRS. After that, Australian survivors will be able to choose to access redress either through the NRS or the internal plan. New Zealand survivors will be able to continue to access redress through the internal plan.

This report is based on an article by Tracey Bridcutt in the Adventist Record.

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