Appendix C


advocacyA wide range of activities to promote, protect and defend victim-survivors’ human rights and their rights to services and information. It may involve assisting victim-survivors to express their own needs, access information, understand their options and make informed decisions.
alleged perpetratorThe term used in this report to refer to a person who has been accused of committing an act of child sexual abuse, regardless of whether they have been charged or convicted.
brief intervention careA model of defined and time-limited therapeutic intervention that supports victim-survivors and their families, friends and loved ones through the process of sharing their story and re-living the experiences of child sexual abuse.
certain other government schoolsVictorian government schools where relevant employees of Beaumaris Primary School also worked and allegedly perpetrated child sexual abuse.
childDefined in the Terms of Reference to mean ‘a child within the meaning of the [United Nations] Convention on the Rights of the Child of 20 November 1989’. This definition includes every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, they attain majority earlier.
child protectionDefined by the United Nations as ‘above all … protecting [children’s] physical, mental and psychosocial needs to safeguard their futures’.
child safetyDefined in the Victorian Child Safe Standards as ‘matters related to protecting all children from child abuse, managing the risk of child abuse, providing support to a child at risk of child abuse and responding to suspicions, incidents, disclosures or allegations of child abuse’.
child sexual abuseAny act that exposes a child to, or involves a child in, sexual processes beyond their understanding or contrary to accepted community standards. Sexually abusive behaviours can include the touching of genitals, masturbation, oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger or any other object, the touching of breasts, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and exposing the child to or involving the child in child exploitation material. It includes grooming, which is defined below.

The term used in this report to mean any disclosures made to an institution related to child sexual abuse in a government school context. It also includes any allegation, suspicion, concern or report of a breach of an institution’s code of conduct.

A complaint may be made about an adult allegedly perpetrating child sexual abuse. A complaint may also be made as a result of observations, including observations of behavioural indicators; for example, a child exhibiting harmful sexual behaviours.

An institution may receive a complaint:

  • directly or through a redress scheme
  • from anyone; for example, a child victim-survivor, an adult victim-survivor, a parent, a trusted adult, an independent support person, a staff member, a volunteer or a community member.

A complaint can be made in writing or verbally, and may become a ‘report’ to an external authority or agency.

culturally appropriateA term used to describe an approach to policy, intervention, service delivery and inter-group interaction that is based on the positive acceptance of the cultural values and expectations of a particular cohort.
culturally diverseA term used to describe diversity within a population. In this report, it is used in reference to the diversity of the Victorian population, and to acknowledge that culture and language can influence people’s needs and their access to support services that meet those needs.
culturally safeA term used to describe an environment that is safe for people, where there is no assault against a person, and no challenge to or denial of a person’s identity, who they are and what they need. It is about shared respect, shared meaning, shared knowledge and experience of learning, living and working together with dignity, and truly listening.
Department of EducationDefined in the Terms of Reference to mean ‘the Department with primary responsibility for the employment of teachers in government schools at the relevant time, including the current Department of Education’s predecessors over time’.
disciplinary offencesMay be seen to constitute any act (or omission) involving a breach of discipline under an Act, code of conduct, workplace policy or other regulation. A disciplinary offence is usually concerned with a person’s fitness for employment and, in determining how to punish an individual’s behaviour, non-criminal sanctions may be considered.

A process by which a child conveys or attempts to convey that they are being or have been sexually abused, or by which an adult conveys or attempts to convey that they were sexually abused as a child. Disclosure may take many forms, and may be verbal or non-verbal. Non-verbal disclosures are more common among young children and children with cognitive or communication impairments. Non-verbal disclosures may include painting or drawing, or gesticulating. Children in particular may disclose sexual abuse through emotional or behavioural changes, such as heightened anxiety, withdrawal or aggression.

Disclosures can be intentional or accidental, partial or complete, and they might be prompted by questions from another person or triggered by a memory of child sexual abuse. A disclosure may also become a ‘complaint’ when made to an institution or a ‘report’ when made to an external authority or agency.

experienceA person’s account or recollection of their experience of child sexual abuse and the impact of their experience of child sexual abuse.
government schoolDefined in the Terms of Reference as having ‘the same meaning as “Government school” in the Education Training and Reform Act 2006 but exclud[ing] schools that historically were attached to orphanages and group homes’.
groomingBehaviours that manipulate and control a child, their family, their communities or institutions with the intent of gaining access to the child, obtaining the child’s compliance, maintaining the child’s silence and avoiding discovery of the sexual abuse.
historical child sexual abuseDefined in the Terms of Reference to mean ‘sexual abuse of a child in a government school by a staff member employed by the Department of Education in a government school, where that abuse occurred prior to 31 December 1999’.
impactThe physical, emotional, psychological, social and economic consequences that child sexual abuse has had and may continue to have on a person, their family, their friends and the wider community.
offenderThe term used in this report to refer to a person who has been convicted of committing a criminal offence relating to child sexual abuse.
officerWhen used in the context of ‘the Department of Education and its officers’ state of knowledge’ in the Terms of Reference, refers to a person employed or engaged in, or appointed to, a position in the Department of Education, whether on an ongoing basis or otherwise, and includes (without limitation) teachers, principals, inspectors, supervisors and lecturers.
organisational cultureThe assumptions, values, beliefs and norms that distinguish appropriate from inappropriate attitudes and behaviours demonstrated by people within an organisation (for example, teacher and student attitudes and behaviour in a school).
prepThe first year of primary school.
relevant employeeDefined in the Terms of Reference to mean ‘a teacher or other government school employee or contractor who sexually abused a student at Beaumaris Primary School during the 1960s or 1970s’. The Board of Inquiry found that six individuals fell within the definition of ‘relevant employee’.
report (of child sexual abuse)Where concerns relating to child sexual abuse are notified to an authority or agency external to the relevant institution; for example, where a person or institution notifies the police, a child protection agency, an oversight agency or a professional or registration authority.
secondary victimDefined in the Terms of Reference to mean ‘a person who has been affected by the abuse perpetrated against the primary victim-survivor’. A secondary victim may include partners, children, parents, siblings or extended family. A person who witnessed the child sexual abuse may also be a secondary victim.
sexual assaultAny behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened. It is sexual behaviour that someone has not consented to. It does not always include physical harm.
supportEmotional and practical assistance provided to victim-survivors to reduce their feelings of isolation, and promote connections and trusted relationships to aid in healing and recovery.
support serviceA service that provides advocacy, support or therapeutic treatment.
therapeutic treatmentAn overarching term covering a range of evidence-informed interventions that address the psychosocial impacts of child sexual abuse. Therapeutic treatments seek to improve victim-survivors’ physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing, and to enhance their quality of life.
trauma-informed approach

An approach to work that is centred on the needs of victim-survivors. The approach emphasises psychological, cultural and physical safety, and is underpinned by six internationally recognised principles:

  • safety
  • trustworthiness and transparency
  • peer support
  • collaboration and mutuality
  • empowerment, voice and choice
  • cultural, historical and gender issues.

The term used in this report to refer to a person who identifies as having experienced child sexual abuse.

In line with a trauma-informed approach, the Board of Inquiry acknowledges that individuals have the right to define their identity and that some may consider the terms ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’ to exist on a continuum of recovery. The Board of Inquiry also recognises that some people may not identify with either of these terms.