Two of Australia’s leading advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse will deliver the 2019 Human Rights Day Oration – Chrissie Foster AM and The Honourable Peter McClellan AM QC.
Former Justice McClellan led the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which over five years uncovered the shocking history of abuse that has occurred within schools, religious groups, sports clubs, state institutions and youth organisations. It was unprecedented in Australian history in terms of length, size or complexity and led to the Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors in October 2018.
Mrs Foster is one of the key advocates on behalf of survivors of child sexual abuse. Two of Mrs Foster’s daughters were sexually abused by a Catholic priest – one has since passed away. Mrs Foster and her family have shown great dignity, grace and strength over many years in holding institutions to account in the hope that history will not repeat itself.
The two speakers – recipients of last year’s Human Rights Awards – will share their unique insights on justice for survivors and reflect on the Royal Commission process, the impact it has had and the action that has been taken over the past two years.
Australian Human Rights Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AO will host the Oration and the Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell will host a discussion between Former Justice McClellan and Mrs Foster.
The Human Rights Day Oration is delivered each year on 10 December, the Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.