The Royal Commission hearings at Knox have a very clear and very specific mandate. It states very clearly that it is a “Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse”. In relation to Knox that means it is looking at how the school and the Uniting Church reacted when it knew that members of its staff had abused children in their care. The commission will look very specifically at whether Knox Grammar (as an institution) attempted to cover-up the issue after it found out and before the staff where charged and subsequently prosecuted.
If people want to find out specifics about the Commission and even listen-in to the Commission as it operates, they should look at the Government Website and the subsequent opening address from the hearings.
Quoting directly from the government website, the scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
- The experience of sexual abuse of former students of Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, New South Wales.
- The response of Knox Grammar School and the Uniting Church in Australia between 1970 and 2012 to concerns raised about inappropriate conduct by a number of teachers towards students of Knox Grammar School, including investigations and subsequent and criminal proceedings.
- The systems, policies and procedures in place at Knox Grammar School in relation to raising and responding to concerns about child sexual abuse since 1970.
- The regulatory system governing the response of Knox Grammar School, as a non-government school in New South Wales, to allegations of child sexual abuse by its employees against students at the school.
- Any other related matters.
The Commission is expected to have a public hearing in to this matter running from February 23rd for two weeks.