Telling your story

What is the Commission investigating?

The Commission is investigating institutional responses to allegations and incidents of child sexual abuse and related matters, and in particular, without limiting the scope of the inquiry, the following matters:

what institutions and governments should do to better protect children against child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts in the future;

what institutions and governments should do to achieve best practice in encouraging the reporting of, and responding to reports or information about, allegations, incidents or risks of child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts;

what should be done to eliminate or reduce impediments that currently exist for responding appropriately to child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including addressing failures in, and impediments to, reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of abuse;

what institutions and governments should do to address, or alleviate the impact of, past and future child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts, including, in particular, in ensuring justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions, processes for referral for investigation and prosecution and support services.

What institutions?

  • Residential care facilities such as orphanages
  • All religious organisations
  • Recreational and sporting groups
  • Child care centres
  • State government child protection agencies
  • State government departments, including the police force
  • Detention centres
  • Defence forces
  • Educational facilities
  • Juvenile justice centres

How you can tell your story

Private sessions

The Royal Commission may decide that you are allowed to speak directly with a Commissioner about your experiences, in a private and comfortable place.

Once the Royal Commission has decided that you are going to attend a private session, you will be sent a letter confirming where and when and relevant details about transport and parking and your allocated time. Usually private sessions are for 1 hour and it is best to prepared what you would like to say beforehand.

The Commissioner will decide who can be in the room, but usually it will just be you, your support person, a Commissioner and a Royal Commission officer.

If you would like a support person to attend with you or help in preparing for a private session, contact your nearest CASA or support service.

To request a private session call 1800 099 340 or email

Written statements

If you would like to share your story with the Royal Commission through a written statement, you can send a letter or email setting out your experience. You do not have to provide any contact information if you choose to remain anonymous.

If you have provided contact information, you will be sent written confirmation from the Royal Commission when they receive your statement. If the Commission wants you to give formal evidence, they will contacted you to discuss this.

If you need assistance in writing your submission you can contact your nearest CASA or support service.

Written statements should be sent to:


Post: GPO Box 5283 Sydney NSW 2001


You can also tell your story via recorded interview, either over the phone or in person. Most interviews take one hour, depending on the individual story.

As with sharing your story in any other way, you can get assistance from your nearest CASA or support service.

To register your interest in an interview with the Royal Commission call 1800 099 340

Public hearings

The Royal Commission holds formal public hearings to hear evidence about child sexual abuse within institutions. The hearings do not focus on individual cases, focusing instead on case studies of how institutions have responded to allegations and on proven instances of child sexual abuse.

The public hearings are open to the public and can also be watched or listened to live at

Whether you have been summonsed to appear at a public hearing, or if you believe you have a direct or substantial interest in a public hearing, you must complete an Application for Leave to Appear.

If you are called to be a witness at a public hearing, you can apply for financial assistance to cover your expenses to attend.

This information is adapted from information on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse website