Beaumaris Inquiry now seeking submissions

Media release, Thursday, 7 September 2023

The Board of Inquiry into historical child sexual abuse in Beaumaris Primary School and certain other government schools (the Inquiry) is now calling for people to share their experiences.

This Inquiry will, most importantly, listen to victim-survivor experiences so they are heard and acknowledged. In doing so, we seek to support the process of healing for those affected, and to develop a shared understanding of the impact of abuse in our communities.

We will create an official public record of the experiences of victim-survivors of historical child sexual abuse by staff at Beaumaris Primary School in the 1960s and 1970s and any other government schools where these same staff members were employed.

Based on information provided to the Inquiry, including by the Department of Education, we anticipate inquiring into allegations that relate to at least three perpetrators and involving 18 schools.

One of the known perpetrators is Gary Arthur Mitchell, a former teacher at Beaumaris Primary School and other government schools. Others will be named as soon as the Inquiry is able to do so.

Our work is in its early stages, and we will be considering allegations made against other relevant employees and related to other schools falling within the scope of the Terms of Reference, as necessary.

The Inquiry will also closely review the Department of Education’s knowledge of and response to any of the abuse at or around the relevant time. The Inquiry takes seriously its role in seeking an explanation for any action and inaction in relation to child sexual abuse in creating a public record of victim-survivor experiences.

We are also reviewing the effectiveness of support services provided to support victim-survivors of historical child sexual abuse in government schools – to ensure when people come forward, they get the help they want and need.

We will deliver a report to government by 28 February 2024.

We recognise how challenging it can be for people to share their experiences, and that child sexual abuse has and may continue to have a significant impact on a person, their family, friends and the wider community.

Through a safe, meaningful and trauma-informed participation process, victim-survivors, their family, friends and supporters can register to share their experiences directly with us through private hearings. Public hearings will also be held as part of the Inquiry’s work.

You can make a submission via our website and/or register for a private hearing session at www.beaumarisinquiry.vic.gov.au. If you need help making a submission or have any questions, please contact us at: contact@beaumarisinquiry.vic.gov.au or on 03 8301 0102 so we can assist you.

If you or someone you know has experienced child sexual abuse and needs support, please contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Beaumaris Inquiry now seeking submissions 07.09.2023
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